Monday, March 15, 2004

In Memoriam

As you most likely know, the Vanguardia has been running short biographies of the victims of the Madrid bombings. About all we can do in their memory is get the information down in English in order to remember the 200 dead people.

Nicoleta Diac, house cleaner, 27, Coslada. Nicoleta was from a farm family in Romania and had been in Spain for four and a half years; she lived with a Romanian couple in Coslada. She was very pretty, with short fair hair. Nicoleta was religious, a member of the Seventh-Day Adventist church. She was very close to the family she worked for and was excited because on March 11 the wife was going to give birth (which she did on schedule). They still haven't told the wife that Nicoleta is dead.

Juan Sanchez Quispe, window cleaner, 45, Vallecas. Juan was from Peru and came to Spain seven years ago. He had been a soccer referee there and was a major fan of the sport; he was a FC Barcelona supporter. Juan was married and had two sons, 14 and 16 years old; he also leaves his brother. The family bought their own apartment four years ago; Juan worked a variety of jobs to bring in some money. He was going to become a citizen of Spain.

Mohammed Itaiben, teacher, 27, Azuqueca de Henares. Mohammed was from Alhucemas in northern Morocco; he was one of five brothers from a farming family. He studed languages and literature at Fez University and worked as a teacher of Arabic and French. He was a handsome young man with large, clear eyes, and the Moroccan community was very proud of him as someone who had "made it".

Sanea Bensaleh, student, 13, Alcala de Henares. Sanea was born in Madrid, the daughter of Moroccan immigrants. Sanea, of course, was perfectly integrated into the community; her parents were careful that she should speak both Spanish and Arabic. She was a high school student and an only child, and was popular among her classmates.

Miriam Pedraza Rivero, office worker, 25, Entrevias. Miriam had been married for three years; she and her husband were saving for an apartment. They had planned to go on a trip to London the weekend after the bombings. She enjoyed sports and fitness and did aerobics and yoga; she was looking forward to attending the upcoming Formula One race. Her family and friends say she was cheerful and lively and very mature for her age.

Guillermo Senent Pallarola, technician, 23, Cabanillas. Guillermo and his friend David Santamaria were going to take their physical exams; they had been working as intern technicians on the high-speed train. Both were killed in the blasts. He leaves his parents and a brother.

Eduardo Sanz Perez, maintenance man, 31, Azuqueca de Henares. Eduardo was married and had a son of two years; his wife is currently eight months pregnant. He worked for the Army as a civilian employee.

Javier Menjibar Jimenez, teacher, 43, Alcala de Henares. Javier was from Lima, Peru, and came to Spain as a child. He was married and had two young daughters. Javier had worked as a high-school teacher, but was currently employed in the foreign-aid department of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. He had lived in California for a time as a visiting teacher. He loved cats and was an avid cyclist.

Sergio de las Heras Correa, aeronautical engineer, 28, Alcala de Henares. Sergio normally drove to work, but his car was in the shop so he took the train on Thursday. He had a girlfriend and is remembered by his friends as very generous and a card-playing shark.

Domino Simon Gonzalez, insurance worker, and Maria Cristina Lopez Ramos, secretary, Santa Eugenia. Domi, as everyone called him, and Cristina were married and had two children, ages 11 and 3. They dropped their kids off at school and went off to work by train on Thursday morning. Family members are going to take charge of the children.

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