Thursday, 05 October 2023  
May They Rest In Peace
Zahra (6), Fatima (7) and Eman (9) - the daughters of Sondos Ismail and Ahmed Alzalimi -  three of the 146 children who lost their lives when the vessel that has become known as SIEVX foundered in international waters en route to Christmas Island on 19 October 2001.
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~ The SIEVX Memorial


This is a place to acknowledge and remember the 353 precious lives that were lost to us in the tragedy of SIEVX. We can think of each of the 146 children, each of the 142 women and each man who died.

We honour their lives and grieve their sad and terrifying passing.

This is a place to offer condolence to those who survived and those who had been waiting in Australia for those cherished souls who would never reach these shores.

We can demand the truth elsewhere, we can demand justice elsewhere. Jannah is non political but any member of parliament is warmly invited to offer a personal message of condolence and respect for the 353 of SIEVX. The Jannah Memorial is dedicated to compassion and remembrance.


Sondos Ismael, the mother of the three little girls who drowned, pictured in the left hand corner of this page

12 year old Zaynab who lost her entire family in the tragedy,  holds up a list of all those who lost their lives when SIEVX foundered

Mahmoud, aged 6 (brother of Zaynab)
Moustafa, aged 4 (brother of Zaynab)
Fatima, aged 14 (sister of Zaynab)
Roukaya, aged 7 (sister of Zaynab)
Eman, aged 8 (daughter of Sondos & Ahmed Al Zalimi)
Zhra, aged 6 (daughter of Sondos & Ahmed Al Zalimi)
Fatimah, aged 5 (daughter of Sondos & Ahmed Al Zalimi)
Fatima, aged 1, (daughter of Fawzi Qasim )
Karrar, aged 2 (son of Najah Zubaydi)
Donya, aged 14 (daughter of Ali-Mehdi Sobie)
Marva, aged 12 (daughter of Ali-Mehdi Sobie)
Hajaran, aged 10 (daughter of Ali-Mehdi Sobie)
Noor, aged 11 (son of Hazam Al Rowaimi)
Fatama, aged 8 (daughter of Hazam Al Rowaimi)
Nargis, aged 5 (son of Hazam Al Rowaimi)
Mohammed, aged 3 (son of Hazam Al Rowaimi)
Hadeer, aged 15 (son of Haidar Al Zohairi)
Hadeel, aged 19 (daughter Haidar Al Zohairi)
Alya aged 2 (daughter of Rokaya Satar)
Kauthar, aged 4 (daughter of Rokaya Satar)
Zahra, aged 7, (daughter of Faris Kha Dem)
Rakem, aged 2, (daughter of Haidar Ataa)
Rem, aged 4, (daughter of Haidar Ataa)
Fatima, aged 5 (daughter of Hassan Jassem)
Batoul, aged 1 (daughter of Hassan Jassem)
Ali, 20 day old infant (son of Hassan Jassem)

(Multiply this list by six to get an idea of the number of children who died, and then double it again to include all the women...

To access more information about the passengers on SIEVX, see our database)

Thanks to Mary Dagmar Davies for suggesting, designing & promoting this memorial


I would have loved to welcome all those lost to Australia; and there are many like me who feel for you very much, and think of you often. I am so sorry for your great loss. Peace will only come to this world, when we realize that every life is equally precious. I pray for healing, comfort, and the souls of those lost. I am including a poem by Mahmoud Darwish, a Palestinian poet, with love:

And I await those who return,
who come knowing my times of death.
I love you when I love you not.
The walls of Babylon are close
in the daylight, and your eyes
are big, and your face looms
large in the light.

It is as if you have not been born yet,
we have not separated, and you
have not felled me, as if above
the storm tops every speech is
beautiful, every reunion,
a farewell.
~ Christine Evans

Sadness touches my heart when I think of the suffering you are going through. A grief so deep, engulfed by the sea. May the angels watch over you and wipe away your childrens tears. Bring you a light of hope and comfort. And a peace to carry on. Tonight I'll save a tear for you it tastes of the salt of the seas. It will run down the face of time and beyond.
~ Margaret Cherry

Loss, amongst desperate people should not be considered less of a loss. Unfortunately, most Australians have been carefully shielded from the true realities of these poeples lives and the tragedy that has befallen them. It is so much easier to blame them for what has occurred rather than extend the hand of friendship.This does not reflect well on us. I would like to extend my sincerest sympathy for the survivors and families who lost loved ones.
~Gerald Feeney

May such a gross tragedy never happen again. And may those seeking a peaceful life, like the life we love here in Australia, find the security and happiness that was so wrongfully denied to the SIEVX victims.
~ Senator Bob Brown

I will always remember you, seek out your stories, and try to help make Australia a compassionate and welcoming country again. You shall not be forgotten.
~ Arnold Zable

I did not know the 353 of SIEVX but I will remember them. I do not know the survivors of SIEVX but I feel for them.
~ Mary Dagmar Davies

I extend my deepest sympathies and regrets to all the families and friends of the 353 SIEVX victims. But I reserve my gravest concerns for the 40 survivors; these people survived the ordeal at sea, and now have to live with the horrific memories. It is a reminder that we should never forget the human impact and the suffering that can occur as a consequence of our inactions.
~ Senator Andrew Bartlett

The tragic face of that mother will haunt me for the rest of my life. I can't imagine what she must be feeling, having lost her children in such ghastly circumstances
~ BR

As the first anniversary of 353 human lives lost comes, we remember you with burning hearts. Rest in Peace for you are not forgotten, nor will you ever be forgotten. The truth of your dying is not yet told but it will be told.
~ Pamela Curr

I am pained that so many lost their lives hoping to find freedom and kindness, peace and hope for themselves and their families. Yet we still crush those who make it to our shores.
~ Claire O'Connor

To the people of the SIEVX that we never had the honour of meeting - we will never forget you.
~ Mira Wroblewski

I think of you every day. You will never be forgotten. I pray that the precious souls are all at peace. I pray for all those who lost loved ones each day.
~ Kate Wildermuth

I will never forget the day that your ship went down. We held a candlelight vigil in our country town for you and 200 people came and cried for you. Nothing will bring back your loved ones, but some of us will never forget you. I cry for you and for my country.
~ Debby O'Brien

I am sorry for the pain and suffering that occurred.I am certain that the truth will be found.
~ Sammy Ringer

I hope you are at peace.
~ Michelle

May all the people so tragically killed have a place in Jannah
~ Tanvir Kazmi

So much sadness, So great a loss, Words cannot tell what is in the hearts of those of who grieve.
~ Jane Keogh

Every day the young mother dresses her three daughters for school. She gets them breakfast, lovingly helps them dress in their new school uniforms in their new country, in their new life. She packs a healthy lunch, checks that all the homework is done, that their hair is neatly brushed. The little things that make going to school such a fun part of the day for little girls who are now 6, 7 and 9. After she hugs and kisses them goodbye, she washes their dishes, makes their beds, washes their clothes and thanks god each day that they are safe in their new country, with their new life. Then Sondos Ismail wakes to a new day and finds it was all a dream. Zhra, Eman and Fatima drowned a year ago in the icy sea, in an uncaring world, while the Australian government shrugged, and the people shrugged. R.I.P
~ Marilyn Shepherd

How sad that you should leave a world who needs courageous people so desperately. Maybe we did not deserve you. Peace to you
~ Leigh Waters

Your pain is my pain. Your grief is my grief. Every day I remember you, and I pray that God may bring peace to you and your families. Please know that you are not alone.
~ Tony Kevin

To all those beautiful children who will never grow old, I am so sorry...
~ Cathy Lewis

Words cannot describe. May peace be upon your souls.
~ Americo Caponetto

My heart goes out to 2 year old Kauthar Sadiq, the only small child to survive. Who can ever look at her without seeing the ghosts of all the children who died. She miraculously made it through that long and horrible night atop her father's shoulders, but will grow up without ever knowing her mother...
~ Marg Hutton

We are profoundly sorry; we feel a sense of remorse for the loss of so many people trying as they could to find freedom. May God care for the survivors, as we must. We pray for justice for all aboard her.
~ Andrew & Eveline Cornell-Trapp

No words can truly express the heartache and grief that so many families suffered in this tragedy. I can only say that you do not grieve alone. Thousands of Australians also weep for your children, and for your extended families. We will never forget what happened on the waters above our country and we will not rest until we are certain that such an event will never happen again.
~ Claire Bruhns

It is with bravery and hope that you embarked on your voyage for freedom. It is with sadness and guilt that we who remain must endure our failures to welcome you. God forgive us our apathy and selfishness.
~ Freya

My tears are flowing as I read the names of the precious children lost to the callousness of the world. It is the most terrible of shames. It is my hope that wherever the 353 who perished are, they know that there are souls who care for their fate; whose hearts burn in indignation and love. This calumny will never be forgotten, we will never let it be.
~ Louise McOrmond-Plummer

To the survivors of SIEVX, and to those who died... I am sorry that you had to endure such suffering. I am sorry that you faced condemnation from Australians who were blinded by fear. I am sorry that your struggle for acceptance continues to this day.
~ Craig Hendry

You all passed on - to change us, to change me, and to make that change - forever. We will remember you - and we will not forget.
~ Jack H Smit

My thoughts and sympathies to all the relatives of those lost. I hope that the memory of this will lead Australia to be a more humane society in the future.
~ Andrew Greig

I am truly sorry for the loss of innocent lives on the SIEVX and for our Government's insensitivity towards the survivors and their families. We will not forget you but keep you in our thoughts.
~ Helen Saville

I feel so sad for those who lost their lives and for those who are left behind. It is a shameful part of our history and I do apologise. We can only strive for peace and equality.
~ Dianne Wood

My heart cries... for the innocent victims; for the devastated survivors! May not one be forgotten.
~ Rita (USA)

I will not forget you. You are part of this country and its people and me.
~ Eva Sallis

May your untimely and cruel deaths be not in vain, but rather be a call for compassion to rise up and flourish again in this land of Australia.
~ Father Brian Gore

Words cannot express our grief and sorrow at the loss of your loved ones, our friends in a better world. Please someday forgive us...
~ Michael Evans

I feel great shame... My heart bleeds for those who suffered so much. The beautiful children. May the souls, of those who died, be happy in a better place than the world they left behind.
~ Joan Miller

Your dreams of peace, a future for you and your family?
You hold on to your children in the raging sea,
boats come by, they don't help, they just watch
as your hopes of rescue tortuously disappear.
You think, as the water overpowers you and steals your dreams from your arms,
snatches those beautiful little angels from your grasp:
I must survive,
the world will only know if I remain alive.
It indeed takes incredible faith and courage to struggle against the fatal dive.
They have not died in vain,
they have gone to a better place, to jannah, no more pain.
As we see their pictures here
we feel the comfort that their memory will not disappear.
The power of their spirit is near
May you find rest my friends
May your surviving loved ones find peace.

~ Keysar Trad

My deepest sympathy and thoughts to the families of the people who were lost on the SIEVX and to those who survived. I pray that we here in Australia can present you, who seek sanctuary, with open arms, compassion and support very soon. I apologise most humbly for the current policy on asylum seekers who look to Australia for a new life. Yours in compassion
~ Anne McLaughlin

I am truly saddened that so many have perished in trying to reach Australia. I am ashamed at the Government's reaction to the tragic loss you have endured.
~ Kay Kan

'Man's inhumanity to Man' (and woman and children)
~ Rosemary McKay

In the eyes of each person who has struggled to flee to this country, I see the pain of the sacrifice of the people who never reached us. In memory of you, it is now my task to fill those eyes with all the joy love and hope that you were seeking, and to help my people to understand how much we have all lost. Your history is now the history of our country, your dreaming has become part of ours. A little part of each one of us was lost with you but will be reunited one day when we meet in your new home and say "G'day, mate!".
~ Sue Blake

I will never forget.
~ Franciszka

To the memory of those who lost their lives on SIEVX and deepest sympathy to the survivors.
~ Judy Morton

I am so very sorry that Australia did not do more to save the lives of those who died. My thoughts and condolences go to the relatives of those who were lost.
~ Vanessa Swan

Dear survivors of SIEVX, You are my heros. Every day you rise, draw breath and somehow continue to live. Like so many others I wish to reach out to each of you but as I search inside for words to write I come up empty. Only tears and rage are left. My most fervent wish is that your stories, and the stories of those who drowned, are told, heard and honored.
~ Helen Newman

My deepest sympathy to the families and friends of all those who lost their lives in this terrible event.
~ Ailsa Burns

Having interviewed some of the survivors I was struck by their remarkable courage and quiet dignity. But we will never fully comprehend the hell they have gone through or the loss they are experiencing. May those who perished rest in peace.
~ Geoff Parish

May your tragic passing not be in vain. In the name of humanity, such an event ought never be allowed to happen again.
~ Jo Green

These names are not the names of 'aliens', 'illegals' or 'others'; they are our babies, sons, daughters, wives, husbands, brothers, sisters. We grieve for all those whom we lost in this tragedy, and for the tragedy of our country which is also lost.
~ Julia Clark

Words are never enough. I hope the friends and relatives of those who were so tragically lost, have found some peace and can remember and picture their loved ones in happy and calm times.
~ Laurel Davidson

You have shown us something about ourselves that we had not realised. Your coming and your deaths challenge us to change, in a way that nothing else could. May we rise to that challenge, for your sake, for the sake of our society - and for our selves.
~ Sue Anderson

I am overwhelmingly saddened and appalled by the SIEVX sinking; by what happened to individuals and their families... The lives lost, this event, will be a defining moment in Australia's history.
~ Helen Tait

My heartfelt sympathy to all who lost loved ones in this terrible incident last year. In memory of innocent lives lost.
~ Sally Jope

I share in the sadness and desperation of those linked to this tragedy. We will remember. I wish you peace.
~ Cath Guinness

May you all rest in peace. You were searching for peace and refuge but were denied. God bless all who perished...
~ Michael Morgan

There is a numbing horror about the death of hundreds of women and children on the SIEVX. As I watch my children go to school and the children I teach, I imagine what would happen if one day 146 of them were to perish. Yet these souls and their mothers have passed on with barely a ripple in the conscience of our nation. My sorrow is for the families of those who died.
~ Joe

We must not forget. We must work to ensure that such tragedies do not happen again.
~ Terence Seymour

I would like to say how deeply sorry I am about all those people who died, and for the people who love them. The whole event was a terrible loss and a grievous chapter in the history of our nation. Those who have survived and your families are our brothers and sisters and that's how we should treat you. Bless you all.
~ Julia Hamer

My deepest condolences to you and yours on this anniversary of the tragic deaths of those on the SIEVX. It is my hope that their passing will spark compassion in more Australian hearts. In sympathy
~ Brooke

With sympathy for them in their terrible death but hope for all asylum seekers
~ Noelleen Ward

Our hearts are with you at this time, remembering that your loss is ongoing. May we all find comfort and support in the knowledge that people care. Warm thoughts
~ Liz Nicolson

With deep respect and sorrow for those who left us that day... And for those who survived: your fortitude teaches me so much. I hope you can draw strength from our words. You may never meet us, but remember we are so many... Please feel our support.
~ Emma D.

This tragedy at sea causes me much sorrow and anguish. I'm sorry that the passengers of SIEVX dreams of freedom were never realised. I'm sorry that Australia did not embrace you and welcome your arrival. I'm sorry we will never meet and live as neighbours. I'm so sorry for such needless loss of life.
~ Sarah D'Astoli

The pain we suffer, as this tragedy knifes its way into the soul of our nation, is nothing compared with the immensity of your pain and loss. We can only hope that our efforts to change the laws and opinions of Australia and its people will help sustain you and give you hope.
~ Garry Bickley

Eternal Father, strong to save,
Whose arm hath bound the restless wave
Who bidd'st the mighty ocean deep
Its own appointed limits keep.
O hear us when we cry to thee
For those in peril on the sea.

~ Pat Feehelly

May those who survived and have suffered much from this disaster find ease from the pain of recollection and injustice. May those who died needlessly in this disaster find release from the pain of fear and anxiety surrounding their loss.
~ Peter A Bell

'Remember me when I am gone away,
Gone far away into the silent land;
When you can no more hold me by the hand,
Nor I half turn to go yet turnng stay.
Remember me when no more day by day
You tell me of our future that you planned:
Only remember me; you understand
It will be late to counsel then or pray.
Yet if you should forget me for a while
And afterwards remember, do not grieve:
For if the darkeness and corruption leave
A vestige of the thoughts that once I had,
Better by far you should forget and smile
Than you should remember and be sad.' (Christina Rosetti)

~ Tina Ellen Richardson

Were you too high above the clouds to see them
as they floated, like birds on the water?
trailing waves of cloth transparent in the light,
tentacles of hair
and fingers that had ceased to grasp for air.
Crystal sharp, your gaze
engraves frontiers on the surface of the sea.
Was your vision's line too fine to pick them out
as they floated, like birds on the water?
Fleeting specks of life upon the tide
still uttering wordless, bird-like cries...
And are we still too high above the clouds to see them now
as they float, like birds on the water?
Or in unsleeping moments do the faces rise from fathoms deep?
The thirst beyond all quenching for drowned laughter,
the ache of unrecoverable dreams.

~ Tessa

We don't inherit the world from our parents, we borrow it from our children. Those who passed on in this sinking were some of our children
~ Mike Bysouth

There is a Jewish proverb: 'The only truly dead are those who have been forgotten'. You will never be forgotten. You will live in Australian hearts and minds forever
~ Greg Chesher

Our condolences to the families who have gone through so much and our hope for compassion to people in need wherever they come from. Words are not enough. With respect,
~ The Greens Northern Office, Launceston, Tasmania

My partner and I read the survivors' testimonials with tears of sadness and disbelief. My heart is heavy at the thought of your abandonment. May we all keep your memory written on our hearts.
~ Rebekah Rose-Field & Jorge Papanaoum

I am so sorry. I share the hope for truth and compassion
~ Megan Clark

I pray that the deaths of innocent men, women and children will help save future seekers of a safe and healthy haven... My condolences for the families of those who did not survive, wherever they may be in the world.
~ Cathi Lewis

Our deepest sympathy. We will not rest until the truth known and justice is done.
~ Margaret Iuliano & Ruth Pryor

My family and I would like to extend our deep heartfelt sympathy and support to you all.
~ Marie-luz,Shannon and Dylan ~ Freedom Bus Participants

Why oh why did so many innocent people have to die? Our thoughts are with you.
~ Gianluca Pompili (7yrs old)

Though we did not know you by name - we will never let you be forgotten. All your hopes and dreams that you had, we will never let them be forgotten - this we promise.
~ Marisa Monagle

I will never forget this tragedy, my condolences go out to the family and friends of survivors. The images of those who died will haunt me forever.
~ Chris (Will) Williams

Not everyone in our land is uncaring. Like many others I am deeply disturbed by your tragic losses and my heart's sincerest sympathies go out to you.
~ Barry Parsons

Rest in peace. We will not forget.
~ Dan & Beth Males

Wishing you loving and compassionate thoughts from an Australian and her family who care very much
~ Kathie

I honour your brave struggle to flee persecution and I send heartfelt wishes to your loved ones left behind. We must never forget you, and learn to feel compassion for those like you in the future, so that it does not happen again.
~ Sue Bond

On the first anniversary of the loss of 146 children, 142 women and 65 men, who were passengers on the ill-fated SIEVX, I offer my deepest condolences to their bereaved families and friends. May all nations strive to work together to achieve a better world for all mankind.
~ Marie Andrews, Woy Woy

Sorry to all whose lives were lost attempting to find another country to live. We must never forget this sorrowful voyage.
~ Liz Dean

As a mother I look at the list of names of the 146 children, and 142 women, and men who drowned in such terrible circumstances, and I weep for the tragic loss of life of such desperate and hopeful people - and the loss of innocence and compassion of our country. Our family will never forget your immeasurable courage and will do everything we can as ordinary Australians to ensure that this tragic loss is not in vain.
~ Karen Edyvane

Condolences to all the family & friends of those whose lives were lost one year ago. My heart aches for you. Special thoughts at this time to Mohammad who lost his family so tragically. I hope time will ease the pain & you will find peace within.
~ Barb Lynn

Many Australians like myself sincerely feel for you and your terrible loss.
~ Nicky Mckimmie

Our prayers and thoughts are with each one who lost loved ones. We will not forget.
~ Gaybrielle and Bridget

Today we walked with you, we talked of you, we felt for you and your spirits were with us in our banners and images. The symbols we used were brought to us from the stories and pictures you gave. Your children were on a banner and your portrait was at the front of our march and you were with us. We can appreciate how brave it must be to go on living with this burden of violence from the world upon your shoulders, the burden of grief that we all can feel to a small extent. To lose a child must be the harshest experience to the human soul. To lose more than one child must be triple torture. I believe we are all connected, we are all one and those children are still in spirit and they will never die in our hearts and minds. We are sorry, so sorry; may your god bring you the comfort that only your god can bring. If there was one action I could make that would heal the wounds of your pain I would do that. What can I do, what can I give, what can I bring to a darkness void of stars? All I have is my heart that beats the same blood as your blood and I will think of you and your children in that connected place, for we are all one and the same. Bless you Sondos and thank you for your determined courage and strength.
~ Janet Hannah Tooby

We remember those who died on the SIEVX last year. To their families and those who survived, there are many in Australia who do care about you, you are not alone.
~ Dean Pratley

What words can there be? We thank the Living God, God of the living, for all life, and pray that we who live thanks to this God, will learn to respect all creation. And we pray with and for those who mourn the deaths of their loved-ones in this tragedy. Blessings and Peace and Hope
~ Rev'd Alistair P D Bain

So many Australians would have welcomed you...
~ Amanda Jordan

'So who besides the immediate family now mourn the victims of SIEVX? They were refugees from Iraq, from Afghanistan, from Iran and Palestine. There will be no national days of mourning for them. They belonged to no nation. When it comes to care and compassion we reserve that for our own. For the fate of others we care very little. We are indifferent to their suffering and death.'
Hansard - 22 October 2002

~ Julia Irwin MP, Member for Fowler

Let us show compassion for all of those who lost their lives, let us also never forget.
~ Matt Hamon

Please accept my sincere condolences for your loss and for the suffering that you have endured.
~ Sarah Hoyal

We will not forget the men, women and children who drowned when the SIEVX sank into the ocean near Australia. They will live in our hearts forever.
~ Giselle B

To those who lost their lives and those who lost their family, I send my deepest condolences. And I send my pity and forgiveness to those who cannot move beyond their fear of the unknown, in order to welcome to our shores the most desperate members of our global community.
~ Kate Gauthier

My deep condolences to the families of all those who perished on SIEVX. I will remember them. I am dreadfully saddened and shamed by our nation's lack of compassion and integrity in this tragedy.
~ Peter Parry ( 10291) | ©Copyright Marg Hutton ~ / 2002-2014