The sister of Nadia El-Dib, the young woman identified as the victim of Calgary’s second homicide of 2018, says she wants people to know about the positive impact she had on people’s lives.

Racha El-Dib says that Nadia was ‘the stitch of the family’, the person who could bring them all back together despite whatever was going on in their lives.

“She was full of laughter and she had a forgiving nature and was happy all the time. Whatever kind of conflict that was happening in the family, she was the rock that brought us back together and the one that never really wanted us to be mad at each other.”

On Sunday morning, police were called to a home in Marlborough Park for reports of a suspicious death.

It was soon determined that the victim, 22-year-old Nadia El-Dib, was murdered and 21-year-old Abderrahmane (Adam) Bettahar was named as a suspect.

Racha says she first learned about her sister’s involvement in the incident when she spoke with her mother, who told her that she didn’t come home the night before.

“I had gotten messages from my mom that my sister hadn’t come home. At that point, she was worried about Nadia’s whereabouts because she always let us know if she was going to be home late and where she was.”

She then went to one of Nadia’s friends to try and find her and the search eventually led to Bettahar’s home on Maitland Drive N.E.

“Myself and a couple of her friends went to the location to which I was met with 15 cop cars and yellow tape. One of her friends told me that that was Adam’s house and everything kind of clicked together.”

Racha said that she screamed and cried when she came to the realization that Nadia had been killed. She then had to break the news to the rest of her family.

“I was talking with my sister over the phone and I didn’t have to say anything, she just started crying. I could just hear my mom in the background screaming and crying. We had to meet at the police station and it was a few hours of disbelief.”

The whole situation has left Racha and the rest of her family in a great deal of pain.

“You think of the scenarios that maybe if you’d end up in that situation and it was a million times worse because there was no way to prepare for it. She was only 22 years old. She was just out on a regular night out that she’s been doing for years and I am never going to experience a pain like this. I am in literal pain, especially my heart and everybody feels it.”

She says that her community is providing a lot of support for her family in their time of grief.

“When you first experience grief, you think you want to deal with it alone and I didn’t want to see anybody but people have ways of just pushing themselves in your lives in a good way. We’ve received a lot of support and that’s what’s been getting us through. Even if it’s across Canada, even if it’s from the United States, the support we’ve been getting has been amazing and that’s what is getting us through this.”

Racha says that her sister and Bettahar had been in a relationship before, but they’d been broken up for some time before the incident on Sunday. She adds that her sister was in a situation where he wanted to be with her but she had rejected him.

“This was a case of Nadia not wanting to be with him and him being persistent and I know this because he wanted to get back with her and she said no, over and over.”

Because of that resistance, Racha says she also wants her sister to be remembered as a voice for women in potentially dangerous relationships.

“We want Nadia’s voice to be a voice for women to be strong because she fought. She left fighting with her last breath and everybody knows that. We just want women to be empowered to leave and to talk and that women all over the world are feeling for this. Women are still victims of this fear of being rejected by somebody and ending up in this situation.”

Nadia will be laid to rest this weekend.