Fatemah Golmakani’s son, Milad, was ambushed by four gang members last April while he was playing soccer in London, England.
The 22-year-old was knifed 14 times and left to die. According to the UK’s Evening Standard, Milad’s death had followed a period of “tit for tat” violence between rival gangs in the area.
The mother of four has vowed to open a charity in Milad’s memory to not only support other troubled teenagers and gang members, but also to help his son’s killers when they get out of prison.
Fatemah, who believes her son’s death was partly caused by high rates of unemployment among young people, said the money raised for the charity will enable her to run a safe space in London for troubled youth.
“What these men didn’t realize was that when they murdered my son, all their hopes and dreams were buried in Milad’s grave with him,” she said.
His four killers — three 19-year-olds and one 17-year-old — were all jailed last month for life and will be serving between 19 and 22 years before release.
Milad’s mother suffered a suspected heart attack in court while hearing the graphic details of how her son was murdered.
Despite her heartache, 58-year-old Fatemah said that she wants to “hug and kiss” her son’s killers and to “tell them that someone loves them.”
To get the charity off the ground, Fatemah said she will be selling several family heirlooms, including a pair of diamond earrings given to her by her great-great-grandmother and a crystal chandelier that has been in her family for more than 200 years.
“This charity will be a present to the killers,” she said. “It will say to them: ‘Hey, you’ve ruined your lives, and mine and my sons’, but if nothing else here’s this to help others like you and to help you.”
Fatemah, who came to London from Iran 18 years ago, also said that when her son’s murderers finally get out of prison, she wants to use her charity to take them “on trips to Europe, to eat good food, wear nice clothes, show them what life is really about,” the Mirror reports.
“I want to replace their knives and guns with flowers,” she said. “I want to bring their humanity back even if my son’s gone.”
Though Fatemah admits that she was once bitter and angry about her son’s untimely death, she says she has learned that forgiveness is the greatest remedy for grief.
“I have been thinking a lot, and I can’t bring my son back, but I do want to unmask the killers,” she told the Camden New Journal. “I want to take the mask that makes their faces look like murderers and lift it up and say: ‘No, look, that’s not really you, you have this other face underneath.”