Family of murdered Calgary woman Nadia El-Dib share her story to raise awareness around domestic abuse

Original Article: Global News  |  Nancy Hixt  |  October 26, 2018

Thursday Oct. 25, 2018 marked a tragic anniversary for the family of Nadia El-Dib.

It’s been seven months since the 22-year-old was murdered—found dead in a northeast Calgary backyard.

The death has left her family on a constant roller-coaster of grief.

“Every day is literally waking up and seeing how you feel,” Nadia’s sister Racha El-Dib told Global News. “Then you might not know–in the afternoon, you might just crash.”

The family says learning the details of Nadia’s violent death has been especially difficult.

She was attacked by her ex-boyfriend, stabbed dozens of times and shot twice—information previously released by police at the request of the family.

Her family said they knew she had broken things off with Adam Bettahar, but had no idea he had continued to pursue her.

“This was very much a situation of, ‘If I can’t have you, nobody else can,’” Racha said.

Bettahar was on the run from police, wanted for the first-degree murder of Nadia, when he was killed in a shootout with the RCMP.

Police confirmed Bettahar and Nadia had been in a relationship in late 2017 but were no longer together when she was killed. Investigators said he purchased a semi-automatic rifle in the weeks leading up to her death.

Those details have inspired the El-Dib family to try and prevent similar tragedies.

“We definitely wanted to make sure that Nadia’s death was not in vain.”

They’ve partnered with Shoppers Drug Mart to raise money for the Calgary Women’s Emergency Shelter.

“My mom works for Shoppers Drug Mart and Nadia did, too, while she was in school. And so when they heard about the story, they were there for us since the beginning.”

Posters describing Nadia’s story have been put up in 37 Calgary Shoppers Drug Mart locations.

“She was very much somebody who wanted to change your life for the better through education,” Racha said, adding she’s thankful Nadia’s name and story are being used for good.

The family has also teamed up with Gems for Gems to create a scholarship in Nadia’s name.

The funds will be awarded to a survivor of domestic abuse in need of help to get back on their feet.

“We’ve seen two main reasons why women return to abusive situations and one is a lack of confidence,” founder and CEO of Gems for Gems Jordan Guildford said.

“The other is the financial dependency on the abuser, so with our scholarship program, we’re looking to be able to sever both connections to the abuser.”

The first scholarship in Nadia’s name will be given out in early 2019.

Racha said the El-Dib family is committed to keeping Nadia’s story in the public eye, and making sure they do all they can to raise awareness about domestic abuse.

“It’s a very bittersweet feeling of, ‘I wish none of this happened and I’d do anything to get her back,’ but that’s not possible,” Racha said. “So the only way we can go about it is to do something good out of this.”

Anyone needing help with violence or abuse in an intimate relationship is encouraged to reach out for help by calling Connect Family & Sexual Abuse Network at 403 -237-5888 (Toll Free: 1-877-237-5888), the 24-hour Family Violence Helpline at 403-234-SAFE (7233), or 211.