Hundreds of mourners have gathered at Lakemba Mosque for the funeral of Kalid Dib, shot dead during a failed armoured van robbery on Tuesday.About 200 friends and relatives marched in a procession from a funeral parlour next door and into the mosque just before midday.A group of young men carried Dib's white casket, draped in a green religious sheet, up the steps and inside.The mourners included the clearly distraught immediately family of Dib, as well as controversial Sydney cleric Sheik Taj el-Din al Hilaly.After a half-hour service the crowd re-emerged and watched as the coffin was placed in a hearse and driven to Rookwood Cemetery, where he is to be buried.A small contingent of police and Sydney media stood by as the crowd walked up Wangee Road and then dispersed to drive to Rookwood.Dib and another man were fired at when they tried to rob three Armaguard guards of cash at the National Australia Bank on George Street, Parramatta, on Tuesday.The hunt for the two other men involved in the shooting continues today with police saying the security guards who fired are expected not to be charged.A prominent youth worker in the south-west, Fadi Rahman, also attended the funeral.Afterwards he told the Herald that Dib, whom he had known through the local Lebanese muslim community, had become sucked in a life of crime."These young kids have nothing. They emulate their older brothers, relatives, start acting up, and eventually they get recruited by real crims."
He said a lack of resources for local youth - Mr Rahman's Lidcombe youth centre and gym was forced to move last year after a stoush with Auburn Council - means there is limited help for troubled youth."There's no PCYC [police citizens youth club], no youth centre. What do you expect the result to be? Of course somebody is going to die. This time it was the young bloke, next time it could be the security guard.
"We've been speaking to the Premier, we've been speaking to MPs, but it comes to nothing. What will it take? Look at our streets, they're like ghettos."
Mr Rahman, who was involved in crime before he turned to youth work, said he understood how kids were sucked into criminal activity."They come from poor families, they have nothing and they get depressed. I know what it's like. You come to a state where your life is a dead end and you're willing to do anything to get out, even commit armed robberies."
You Might Also Like :