This Is Me, Fatiha

 

Fatiha Sabrin, aged 11, died after a chemical incident at Nida House, a residential block in Shadwell, east London, in December.

Fatiha, a promising writer, died after police said pest (rat) control chemicals were found in the block. She was found unresponsive at her home, a flat in Nida House on Sutton Street.

Three other people in the same building, who said they felt unwell, were taken to hospital. One man said his nephew, aged two, kept vomiting and his skin began to yellow.

Residents were evacuated and placed in temporary accommodation as the chemicals were removed. Specialist crime police officers and the London Fire Brigade are said to be investigating how and why these chemicals came to be in the block.

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Thoughtful

School friends paid a moving video tribute to Fatiha. Buttercup Primary School headteacher Zara Rahman called Fatiha an “intelligent, thoughtful child”.

Fatiha never got to know she had won a Young Writers competition with her poem ‘This Is Me, Fatiha’ (below). Rahman said the school found out after her death that the competition judges had already decided to publish Fatiha’s poem from amongst 20,000 entrants.

“The Young Writers competition judges didn’t know Fatiha had died,” said Rahman. “We all knew she was a talented writer. She was always there, keen to help others in her class and was a really kind, thoughtful child. Very selfless.

“The kids in her class were all in tears, looking at her empty seat. It’s hard to explain to primary kids who are just crying, trying to answer their question of what happened.”

 

This Is Me, Fatiha

 

Fast and strong like an athlete

Amazing like a queen

Talented like a famous author

Intelligent like a scientist

Helpful like a doctor

Angelic like a beautiful angel.

 

 Fatiha Sabrin

 

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© London Housing Review 2022

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