Candlelight Vigil Held for Shaima Alawadi

Alawadi was beaten inside her El Cajon home on March 21

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    Through prayers and tears, dozens of people gathered Wednesday to keep Shaima Alawadi's memory alive.

    Shaima Alawadi was discovered on the floor of her family’s El Cajon home, the victim of a brutal beating. She was removed from life support three days later.

    Community Mourns Shaima Alawadi

    [DGO] Community Mourns Shaima Alawadi
    Family, friends say Shaima Alawadi welcomed people of all races and religions into her home. NBC 7's Danya Bacchus reports. (Published Thursday, March 29, 2012)

    “You killed my mom, you beat her to death,” said son Mohammed Alhimidi.

    Alhimidi spoke to NBC News earlier this week and revealed the contents of a threatening note found near his mother’s body on March 21.

    "It said 'This is my country, go back to yours, terrorist,'" Mohammed said.

    With candles lit, friends and family remembered Alawadi as a woman who welcomed people of all races and religions inside of her home.

    Police Update Shaima Alawadi Case

    [DGO] Police Update Shaima Alawadi Case
    El Cajon Police Chief Jim Redman said investigators strongly believe the death of Shaima Alawadi was an isolated incident. (Published Monday, March 26, 2012)

    While an investigation continues into whether this was a hate crime or not, cousin Athra Alramahy said their faith is giving them the strength they need.

    Shaima was known within the community as a wonderful mother to her five children, ages 7 to 17.

    Her daughter, Fatima Alhimidi, spoke to NBCSanDiego at the vigil Wednesday night.

    "I've been going through so much and as usual when my tears are falling you'd be the one to hold me,” she said. “I love you so much.”

    Esmah Alawadi, Shaima’s sister, said "We lost her, we lost the biggest part in our family.”

    Her family now takes comfort in knowing her death is bringing the community together.

    A community that now vows to keep Shaima Alawadi's memory burning in the hearts of those who knew and loved her.