MH17 passengers and crew in memory

MH17 passengers and crew in memory
A picture taken on July 17, 2014 shows wreckages of the malaysian airliner carrying 295 people from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur after it crashed, in rebel-held east Ukraine.

The new Lonely Planet guide to Bali lying in the debris field where Malaysia Airlines MH17 rests in eastern Ukraine is one of the stark reminders of the brutality of the tragedy.

Each of the 298 passengers and crew on board the ill-fated Malaysian Airlines flight from Amsterdam had plans, dreams and futures ahead of them when their lives were cruelly taken away after the aircraft was shot down over the country's Pro-Russian rebel territory. Among the lost were eager students, excited holidaymakers, dedicated workers and even a weary mourner from more than 10 countries.

And slumped near the smoky wreckage are tattered stuffed toys, a mocking reminder of over 50 children - including three babies - who perished on the flight. Many of them were possibly excited to return home after holidaying in Europe with their families or to meet grandparents, cousins and other relatives for Hari Raya in Malaysia and Indonesia.

A Penangite, 27-year-old Elaine Teoh, was on her way to Kuala Lumpur for her wedding to her Dutch boyfriend Emiel Mahler after visiting his homeland. Another six passengers, including pioneering HIV researcher Joep Lange, were on their way to attend the International Aids Conference starting this weekend in Melbourne, Australia.

Sunday Star remembers some of those who were on the fateful flight:

Avid traveller

 

Her parents' big dream is to see her "naik pelamin" (get married) but flight stewardess Nur Shazana Mohamed Salleh, 31, was happy living her dream, travelling the world with Malaysia Airlines. Football was her other love, and the footie apparently had been enjoying the World Cup in the last few weeks - her Facebook page had her raving about the final between Germany and Argentina.

After the final whistle in Brazil, Shazana was busy making plans to celebrate Hari Raya with her family in Penang, and had even made her parents promise to wait for her before visiting their relatives' graves on the day.

Tech princess

Trained in aerospace, aeronautical and astronautical engineering, Amsterdam-based Fatima Dyczynski was excited to reunite with her parents in Perth, Australia and start a new life there. Dyczynski had already founded a high-tech start-up company, Xoterra Space, but wanted a change with an internship at IBM in Perth. The 24-year-old was one of the four German victims on board MH17.

Family man

Beloved father of two sons, Captain Wan Amran Wan Hussin, 50, who piloted the fateful MH17 was also devoted to his 11 siblings and their families. The loving brother and uncle, would return to the family home in Kota Lama Kiri, Kuala Kangsar, once a month and would never hesitate to lend a helping hand when asked. He was planning to perform the Haj when the pilgrimage period starts next month.

Malaysia in her heart

Having lived in Geneva, Switzerland, for the last 30 years, the chance to celebrate Hari Raya in Malaysia with family and friends was something that 67-year-old Nor Rahimah Md Noor cherished. She had not been able to come home for Hari Raya in the last five years, and was really looking forward to her six-week leave during the festive season in Malaysia.

Doting grandfather

Businessman Nick Norris, 68, had volunteered to accompany his three grandchildren - Mo, Evie, and Otis Maslin, aged 12, 10 and eight - back to Perth, Australia, to see that they got back to school on time. After their family holiday in Europe, Norris had wanted to give the children's parents, his daughter Rin Norris and son-in-law Anthony Maslin, some "couple time" in Amsterdam. The distraught couple have since rushed back to Australia.

Wry joker

Friends were tickled when Dutch holidaymaker Cor Pan posted a picture of MH17 on Facebook with his wry message, "If the plane disappears, this is what it looks like." Pan who was boarding the flight to Kuala Lumpur for a holiday with his girlfriend Neeltje Tol, immediately received wishes of "Happy Holiday" and requests for lots of pictures of their trip. As news of the tragedy slowly broke out a few hours later, the happy messages quickly turned to despair.

Only son

 

The family of flight steward Sanjid Singh Sandu, 41, was thankful when his wife, also a MAS cabin crew, escaped death after she switched duty from the missing flight MH370 with a colleague last March. However, fate was not so kind to the father of one, who had switched shifts to be on MH17. Sanjid, or lovingly known as Bobby by his family, had promised to fly to Penang and have lunch with his father Jijar Singh after touching down in Malaysia, and his mother had been preparing to cook their youngest child and only son's favourite dishes.

Adventurous activist

Adventurer Pim de Kuijer, 32, joined Stop AIDS Now! after a long period of soul-searching around the world. The AIDS activist from The Netherlands was one of six people on board the flight who were heading to Melbourne for the International Aids Conference. Previously an intern for former Members of the European Parliament Lousewies van der Laan and Emine Bozkurt, de Kuijer was hoping to publish a little memoir of his experiences in the countries he had visited, including Kosovo, Sierra Leone and Malaysia.

Faithful Toon Army

Nicknamed The Undertaker - because of his customary suits at matches - 60-something John Alder (left) reportedly had never missed a single match of Newcastle United since he started supporting them in 1973, and had been following the team around the world for their away games. The former British Telecom worker was heading to New Zealand for the club's pre-season tour next week with fellow Geordie Liam Sweeney, 28. They were supposed to stop over in Kuala Lumpur for a short holiday en-route to Auckland. Fellow Geordies and the club, including Newcastle United manager Alan Pardew, have been paying tribute to the two fans since it was revealed that they were on the downed jet. Their demise has even moved supporters of Newcastle's bitterest rivals, Sunderland, who raised more than £2,500 (RM13, 597) to buy a floral tribute to the two fans and make donations to charity in their names.

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