Abuback concludes his tribute by saying: “It’s like having a clear vision of where we are going as a family, and now we don’t. It’s just pure darkness.”
The commemorations are halting now and are due to begin again at 9.45am tomorrow morning.
Abuback speaks about his sister, Isra, who also died in the tower, a woman who did work in the community to look after others and keep them company.
“What she did was win the ultimate prize of seeing joy and happiness in others,” he recalls of his “little sister”.
“It was a very happy environment in the house and we talked to each other for hours and hours.”
His brother, Abufars, was more of a “hard man” like their father - but soft-centred.
“I’ll give you an example, Christmas 2016, I was living in my shop trying to get it fixed. We spoke on the phone and he said: ‘make sure you come to me now’. I went in and woke up at maybe two or three o’clock in the morning and saw him sitting by the window and the minute I woke up he said: ‘are you OK’.”
“He was just waiting to make sure that I was OK, even though I was a grown man who could look after myself.”
The brothers had lived together afterwards and it was fun, he adds.
His mother, who was given flat 206 in Grenfell in 2017, was a very loving person and very caring towards those around her, he tells the inquiry.
“She was my mother. Just, simple things like going into the house as a grown man and seeing the Quality Street box there,” he recalls.
“Even things like a kiss on the cheek or comments about the cold and: ‘why are you just wearing this?’. We could talk for hours. We were very tight and understood each other.”
Abubak said that what amazed him was the charitable things which his mother did and which were not known.
The inquiry is now hearing from Abubak Ibrahim, who is going to give a commemoration for his mother, brother and sister – Fathia Ali Ahmed Elsanosi, 73, Abufars Ibrahim, 39, and Isra Ibrahim, 33.
He tells the inquiry that his mother was the head mistress of a primary school in Sudan and was married to a military officer. The family had a lovely childhood but his father was killed in the 1980s in circumstances that he did not wish to discuss.
His mother later decided to leave the country and they came to England, where they came to love the country.
“My mother worked hard in a foreign land to keep us together,” she says.
“When you come as an adult to a foreign country with children it is a very difficult thing.”
Mohammad’s father says that he wants to speak about the tower from a safety perspective.
Nadal, who was a civil engineer in Kuwait, says that in Britain “the safety was not there”. It was also wrong that people were told to remain in their flats as the fire was taking hold.
He concludes by reading out a letter to his son in which he describes how, in the end, it was God’s will that his son had been created. He was thankful that one of his other sons, Amer, had been able to escape from the tower.
Mohammad’s father, Nadal, speaks through an interpreter, to pay tribute to his son.
He starts off by listing his children and the names which he gave them. Mohammad embodied every trait of the prophet, who he was named after, he says.
When Mohammad was young his generosity was exemplified by how he would give his siblings all the sweets he could afford with his pocket money. This was a way of behaving that would continue throughout his life.
When he came to London, Mohammad learned to cook and would insist on hosting people, including elder people. This trait being hospitable was widely admired.
Nadal says that he will remember his son as a man with a big personality, as someone who could have been the leader of a a tribe.
Mohammad’s girlfriend, Amal, tells the inquiry that he loved London, particularly because he felt safe there, but there were times “when his heart was in pieces”.
“He taught me to love myself. He made me feel like I could do things and accomplish things in my life,” she recalls.
“I miss that a lot but it still keeps me going,” she says in the video.
The couple had a lot of plans for their future and were waiting to make things official.
“I felt respected by him and I felt like our relationship was very pure. The last time we spoke was on the 13th of June. the night before the fire. We were on the same bus and I got off before him and he carried on.”
After he got home he messaged her to ask if she was OK and if she was sleeping. It was the last she heard of him.
“Right now when I imagine my future I don’t really see anything,” she says.
Mohammad’s mother, Heam, is talking about the moment when she found out about her son’s death.
“It was a huge shock to me. But his smile never leaves me,” she recalls.
“He was very mature for his age . You felt that he was distinguished in every way.”
The commemorations have now moved on to Mohammad Alhajali, whose brother Hashim is now speaking at the same time as a video tribute.
It is extremely hard to speak about Mohammad so the family have made a series of video tributes to him, he says.
The brothers grew up in Daraa in the south of Syria, says one of Mohammad’s other brothers in the first part of the video.
“He had lots of friends and was a very welcoming person. When I went to his university he would introduce everyone to me because everyone loved him. He loved so much to talk and meet with people.”
Hamid Kani came to London in the 1970s to study and came to love his adopted city, according to his cousin.
In the early 1980s he had roles in criticial comedy plays which were satirical of the regime in Tehran. Videos of these became very popular and as a result he was blacklisted by the regime and could not return to his Iran for some time.
Following this, he took up work in London as a cook and was particularly distraught when his father in Tehran died.
However, he was able to return and looked forward to an annual trip. He was due to take one in 2017 but was never able to do it.
All of Hamid’s family live in Iran and one of the most difficult things was to explain what had happened to him, says his cousin, Masoud.
“Hamid loved to live and lived to love. He would have been especially proud that there was an outpouring of togetherness among the religions and communities.”
The tributes concludes.
Hamid Kani, a 61-year-old Iranian man who lived on the 15th floor of the tower, is now being commemorated at the inquiry.
His cousin, Masoud, is talking about Hamid, who was born and brought up in Tehran, the youngest of the family and the son of a shopkeeper in the city.
“He was always so sociable, extrovert and very very funny,” says Masoud.
The inquiry is now listening to a tribute to Sakineh Afrasiabi from her daughter, Sheila.
Sheila was too overwhelmed to come so her words are being read out by her solicitor, Eva Whittle.
Sheila said that she had now lost her only friend and protector, someone who was her only shield from the world.
“I always had somewhere else to go. Now I am always lonely. In the first few days after the fire I would just walk around the tower and wail and cry,” he recalled.
All that she was left of her mother was a tooth and a jawbone, which was buried. Sheila said that she had lost the only person who truly loved her and she was now very very lonely.
She missed her mother and aunt, with whom her mother had died, and would always love them unconditionally.
The tributes to Biruk and Berkti are concluding with a call by their relatives for justice.
“Please. These things we hope will never happen again. Thank you,” says one of Berkti’s sisters, to applause from those assembled for the inquiry.
A video tribute is now showing Biruk’s seven-year-old cousin, Hemem, who is recalling him in a video tribute
He was a lovely boy who would look after her, she remembers.
“I was very happy but my happiness has gone because of the tragedy of Grenfell Tower. I miss him so much I still don’t know what to do without him.”
She told of how her Aunti Berkti looked after her while her mother went away each year to look after her grandmother.
Another cousin, Simon, tells of how Biruk taught him how to play PlayStation and of the fun they had when they rode their bikes and just enjoyed “silly fun”.
Simon recalls the time, as a little boy, when he was lost in Westfield shopping centre and his Auntie Berkti cried her heart out for him and looked everywhere to make sure he was found.
He added that he knew the family would be reunited some day in a better place.
A moment of happiness for the family was a birthday party that Berkti had organised for Biruk in the weeks before the fire.
“Biruk was beaming and he got so many presents. It is a cherished memory for our family. Biruk told us when he grew up that he wanted to be a pilot or a scientist or a footballer. We have no doubt ... that he would have been able to full his ambition.”
The fire would still not take away the family’s deep love for both Biruk and Berkti, the statement concludes.
Biruk was a happy little boy who would seldom if ever cry or scream, the statement says.
As he grew up, he dreamed of being a striker like his hero, Chelsea’s Eden Hazard, and would play football under the West Way near Grenfell.
“He was kind and he was sensitive. We all as sisters remember collecting him from his nursery and when we would arrive he would call us mummy even though we knew we were his aunts.”
He was a little boy who was wise beyond his years, the statement adds, recalling how he had prayed for one of his aunts when she was ill and how he had worried about his brother in Ethiopia.
Berkti had started to arrange the immigration papers so that her son in Ethiopia could come to the UK, but the fire had taken away that possibiliy.
Biruk was a smiling and happy little boy while Berkti had a strong work ethic willing to do any labour, the family statement says.
She worked as a caterer, cleaner and in coffee shops and wanted her son to have everything that she could not have when she was growing up in Eritrea. She was so happy when she found a catering position at Kings College Hospital and was proud to be working in the NHS as she was such a caring person.
“Everything she did was for her sons,” the statement adds.
“Our sister always put her family first. Both of her sons were the apple of her eye and she was proud.”
Berkti was 10 weeks pregnant when she died in the fire, the inquiry is being told in a statement read out on behalf of the family.
They have no doubt that she was cradling her son as the fire and smoke closed in and it was of some small consolation that he would have been looking at her face as they left this world.
Berkti was born in Eritrea as one of 11 children. The early ears in Eritrea and in Ethiopia as the family moved between both countries in search of safety at a time of war.
As a result of the war and the family having to move, Berkti never really had the opportunities in education that her children have now. What she lost was made up by the abundance of love around her.
She learned swiftly to become a mother after the birth of her first son and loved him with all her heart and soul. As conditions in the Horn of Africa deteriorated the family started to disperse across the world. She was a young woman and to flee with her son would have been too difficult.
She made the heartbreaking decision to leave her two-year-old son with her mother as she was at risk of the violations against young women of her age at that time.
The family add that they would like to thank the UK for providing safety and shelter to the family, resulting in Berkti and her sisters being reunited again there.
When she first came she initially settled in Kilburn, later moving to Wood Green, and lived there with her newborn son Biruk. She was so happy eventually to have a home of their own in the Grenfell Tower. It was a place that was filled with the love and laughter of a baby boy.
One of Berkti’s sons is now speaking about his mother, with whom he said that he would communicate only by phone when he was living in Ertirea.
“She had such a nice voice,” he says, through tears.
When his grandmother died in 2016 his mother was very worried about him because he could not cope on his own. She promised that he would soon be with her.
“When I remember her promise, her voice, you can’t even imagine how I feel. I was looking forward towards living with my mum and little brother but the fire changed everything.
“I thought that I was dreaming when I was told that my mum died in a fire and my brother died in fire, but it was real. To lose someone in this kind of way is the worst possible thing imaginable.”
“I did not even have a chance to say good bye. What makes me feel hopeless is that I will never see my mum again.”
The family are learning to appreciate the small things that they normally ignore in their every day life and be grateful, adds Berkti’s sister.
Maybe this is what they have learned after the deaths in Grenfell Tower, she adds, as images of Berkti and Biruk are projected on the inquiry’s screens.
“Let us hope that what happened will not happen to anyone again.”
We are now listening to tributes to Berkti Haftom, 29, and Biruk Haftom, 12, a mother and son who lived on one of the upper floors of the tower.
One of Berkti’s sisters, reading from a statement, says that her sister fled Eritrea in search of safety, only to die in Grenfell.
“It’s like being shot again and again and again,” she says of the family’s pain.
Proceedings at the Grenfell inquiry are about to get underway again after a break. In the meantime, you can read the full story filed earlier by my colleague Owen Bowcott.
The brother of a Grenfell Tower victim kept a phone line open to his sister and mother until the moment they suffocated, trapped by flames and smoke on the top floors of the building.
On the sixth day of commemoration hearings, Ahmed Elgwahry told the inquiry how he remained in touch with his 27-year-old sister, Mariem, and his mother Eslah as the fire engulfed the high-rise flats.
With his voice occasionally overcome by emotion, Ahmed recalled how he had spent the earlier part of the evening with Mariem, a marketing manager, before she returned to her home in Grenfell where she cared for their mother, whose health was declining.
Her friends remembered Mariem as always happy like “a ray of sunshine”, he said. “She was a beautiful, ambitious and talented woman. She wanted to succeed in her marketing career and she had fallen in love.”
The inquiry is now taking a break until 2.15.
Isaac’s name means “joy, happiness and love”, his father recalls.
“I was really happy, proud and grateful until June 14, 2017, but now my joy has gone,” he adds.
Paulos says that he is worried for his other son, Lucas, who now looks away whenever he sees a photograph of Isaac.
Isaac’s mother concludes the video commemoration by asking God to look after her son. There is applause and a standing ovation from those present.
Isaac was very proud of his background, his Ethiopian heritage and his ability to speak both English and Amharic, his teachers recall.
He was also devoted to his parents. Two pictures are shown - one of Isaac as a child and one of his father. His father talks of how his son used to block the corridor out of their flat and say: “No Daddy, you are not leaving me.”
Nathan, Isaac’s best friend, also appears on the video message, saying: “I never got the chance to say goodbye, to say that I love you.”
One of his teachers recalls Isaac’s numerical ability, an area where he had a particular aptitude.
Out of his group of classmates, she recalls: “He was a shining star who not only had the intellectual capacity but the emotional maturity that could take him far in life.”
Isaac’s teacher Judith Rashed tells of the toys that he enjoyed and the home that he loved.
The little boy loved Arsenal football club. When he was two, his mother had suggested that he follow Chelsea, but the boy had chosen the Gunners.
Friends also speak of him and say that he had wanted to be a doctor, or a footballer. His favourite place was the outdoor park where he played in the sand and with the toys.
A teacher says that he was friendly with everyone in the school. A classmate reads out a message saying that Isaac would forever be in his heart.
A teacher says: “He was very caring with his friends. He was tying a superman cape around the neck of one of them and said ‘I can’t tie it too tight because it’s dangerous’ and I thought that was so caring for a little boy.”
From the outset he seemed like an average five-year-old boy who went to school and had friends, but Isaac was much more than that, according to a young friend of the family.
She says: “He did everything with passion and joy. He never forgot about this friends. He never flaunted his talents. He never wanted to leave our house. He was like the perfect brother to me.”
The video commemoration is now running.
Finally, there was a knock at the door of the family’s flat and a fireman told them to stay put but insulate the bottom of the door.
Another 45 minutes passed before they were advised to leave. He says that he has given a statement about what happened then.
All that he will say is that he has nothing left to live for but to fight for the truth.
“I feel as though my head has been cut off. As if I am dead. But I have to live for my [other] son,” he says. He asks himself questions again and again about how events could have been different.
“What if that fireman who at around 2am had taken us out instead of telling us to wait and shut the door?”
“If I had not listened to the fire brigade my son would have been here,” he says concluding his statement by paying tribute to the little boy who brought so much love and joy into their life.
Isaac was the family’s first born and was a great son, his father Paulos Petakle says.
Great things were expected of him, but they would never know how his life would be lived, his father adds.
He recalls the night of the fire after he had said good night to his children on the 18th floor.
There were people running in panic in the corridor. He called the fire brigade and was asked to stay.
“Every day I ask myself the same question. Would my son be here if I had not listened and had decided to go,” he says.
On the night of fire, as the minutes ticked by, he had called the fire service again and again but got the advice to remain in place even though friends and family were telling them to leave.
Isaac was following him around the flat.
Trigger Warning: We are told that the livestream will show part of the interior of the tower at one point.
We are now going to hear a tribute to Isaac Paulos, five, who went missing as he and his family tried to escape the fire.
Gloria’s mother says that she is really hoping that the person who took the decision to put the cladding on the tower is feeling the pain that is evident.
She is also hopeful that what happened in Grenfell will be used as a model for decision makers and for future generations when it comes to understanding and knowing how life should be respected.
She was going to say a lot more but adds that she gets the sense that what has been said before is almost like hearing the “story of Gloria.” Their pain is also her pain.
She urges everyone to feel anger rather than hate in order for that anger to be a catalyst towards establishing the truth of what happened. There is applause as she finishes speaking.
We are hearing now from Gloria’s mother, who tells the inquiry that she can feel a lot of pain in the room.
She says that she taught her children not to hate, but that she feels a lot of anger inside her.
“I hope this anger is going to be a positive anger. I would like this anger to help to find out the truth of what happened,” she says through an interpreter.
“The pain we are feeling inside is indescribable but knowing that there are people in this country working to find the truth is of some consolation.”
Gloria was a girl full of life and although she missed the sun, food and Italy in general she was happily settled in the UK, her mother says.
The narrator of the film showing images of Gloria and her family and friends describes her as a simple girl who loved life.
She graduated in architecture after many sacrifices and was deeply involved in restoration work, we are told. She also had talent for water colours and pen drawings, all of which caused her to be noticed by her employer, Peregrine Bryant.
There is a tribute from Peregrine Bryant himself, who says: “Unfortunately she was only with us for a very short time but in that time she demonstrated what she could do.” He holds up a drawing for the Royal Hospital, which Gloria worked on.
“Her loss is terrible and the loss of that talent is also something to be mourned.”
The narrator says that it was “human greed” that caused the disaster at Grenfell. Gloria’s last words to her parents were: “Be strong, I love you both.”
The commemoration to Gloria Trevisan is beginning, introduced by the barrister Michael Mansfield.
Part of it will involve a film. Gloria’s mother and father - who do not speak English and will speak through interpreters - are present.
Another survivor of the fire, Mounira, is addressing the inquiry and says that she was blessed to have known Rania.
He recalls finding it so hard to believe that Rania, who she was shopping with on the day before the fire, and the children were gone and that she had asked for a sign from God.
“We are so blessed as a family that we had Rania in our lives,” she says.
Her son had asked her who had started the fire and asked her if they would also have died if they had been asleep.
“We want justice. Even if it takes 100 years then we want it, but let’s hope that it’s not going to take that long,” she says.
There is applause as she takes her seat again. The inquiry is rising now as preparations are made for a commemoration for Gloria Trevisan, a 26-year-old architecture graduate who lived on the 23rd floor of the tower.
Hassan is expressing thanks to everyone in the community for their help. There is applause as he takes his seat again.
“We will never forget those who lost their lives in Grenfell Tower,” he adds.
Hassan says that his message for the inquiry judge would be to work “from the bottom of his heart” to ensure that Grenfell would never be repeated.
“We need to make sure that it will never happen in London, or anywhere else in the UK,” he says.
The video tribute is now switching to an Arabic language message.
What happened in Grenfell Tower was not normal, says Hassan, who knows that he would now never get his family back.
When his wife called at first on the night of the fire he was in Egypt and he told her to take the children downstairs
During that conversation he insisted that everything would be ok. Going to the airport he paused to buy chocolate for the children because he could not go home empty handed.
The video tribute ranges from the couple’s wedding through to children’s birthdays.
There’s also video interviews with Hassan himself, who says on it: “When I met this lady all of my life was changed.”
He has fond memories of looking forward to both children being born, adding: “We had a beautiful time.”
In 2015, the council gave him a choice of moving and they came to visit the Grenfell flat.
“I said to my wife.. OK let’s go and live here,” he recalls.
Hassan recalls teaching Fethia about crossing the road. The little girl was quick to understand the differences between the red and green man when safely crossing the road.
As he left for work on days when she was there, he would hear her say: “Daddy, I love you.”
When the weather was nice, he would take his daughters out for walks and would enjoy their time together. By now Rania was doing an English course, but would often choose to spend the time with him.
He’s taking a break now as a video tribute is projected on to the inquiry’s screens showing the family together, from their couple’s wedding onwards.
A commemoration is now coming from Hassan Awadh Hassan, the husband Rania Ibrahim, and father of Fethia and Hania Hassan.
He begins by recalling the time they went to view the flat, when his wife asked why they should take it. He promised her that he would make it beautiful for them.
A friend told him that the building was safe and Hassan promised his wife that it would be a good flat for their family.
“Wherever you go, I go,” she had told him.
Ahmed says that he will now commit himself to speaking out to help improve safety standards elsewhere and to ensure that something like Grenfell will never happen again.
There was a complete lack of accountability and a lack of adherence to regulations and standards, he says, along with misconceptions about those who lived in the tower.
“There was the misconception that those living there were uneducated and should be simply grateful for living in the Royal Borough of Kensington,” he adds.
“Let me remind you that Mariem, was a successful graduate, a carer... a selfless person who was always very excited to do something for others,” he adds.
“She was as a young woman in love, a young woman ready to settle down. She was my baby sister, Mariem Elgwahry. Thank you.”
Ahmed’s concluding words are met with brief applause. The hearing is now taking a break for five minutes.
Ahmed turns now to remembering his mother, Eslah. He says it is particularly difficult to talk about her and even to share a photograph, but in time he is hoping that will change.
She lived in the tower for 34 years and loved cooking for their family and everyone else, he recalls, describing a woman who was deeply committed to her family.
“My mother and sister were murdered an cremated on the 14th of June last year,” says Ahmed.
“To be more specific they were poisoned by the smoke and I had to listen to them suffer and listen to them die.”
He had to listen to Grenfell burn for a couple of days.
“If that is not torture then I am not sure what is,” he adds.
A few moths later all that he got was fragments of bone and muscle tissue. He was hoping that he would get to hold them one more time.
Ahmed described working with the pathologists and other specialists who were getting pieces together as if they were reassembling dinosaurs. He was deeply grateful for what they were able to do.
Ahmed says his sister Mariem had a decision to make on the night. She chose to stay and look after their mother, who would never have made it out.
On the final call, Mariem persisted in making sure that he knew she was there.
“She started fading away from me but she kept on going all the way until she started to fade away. She started mumbling, started banging the floor until she was no longer responsive.”
It was at this point that he heard his mother’s voice. She was struggling for breath and said her last words: “I can’t breath. I can’t breath.” She was so frightened that she had not spoken before this.
He remained on the phone but all that he could hear was the cracking of the fire on the windows.
“The truth is that Mariem could have disconnected that call but I will be forever grateful that I was with them all the way. Even though I was not in the room it felt like I was.
“She was doing what she always did, which was to protect family. It was I who made the decision to disconnect the call, an hour after they had gone.”
“I was just listening to fire, but I was just hoping that someone would rescue them. But it would have been suicide.”
“Everything was happening so fast and clearly time was our enemy,” says Ahmed.
It was at this point that he also began thinking of what else was gone – their flat and the mementos and things that they had built up.
It was also like their father had died all over again.
He recalls: “They had become trapped very early on and there was nothing that I could do.”
On the way he saw the gridlock of emergency vehicles. Speaking again to Mariem, she had calmed down and was waiting to be rescued.
“I was trying to protect her – in fact I was inside the part around the tower that was cordoned off to the public,” he says.
He thought about running in but it would have been suicide for certain. Now, he says, he was sure that she was trying to prevent him from coming in and also keep their mother calm.
On the night of the fire, Ahmed says his wife woke him up with a call from Mariem.
He could tell from her voice that she was scared and anxious. He knew that something was wrong and told her to “get the hell out of the building... I’m on my way”.
“At this point after I got off the phone I will never forget that I felt sick. I knew something was wrong,” he adds.
He says he knew then that Mariem and Eslah were trapped on upper floor.
He is certain that the building was compromised.
Having lived in the tower for more than 20 years he knew that something was not right.
Mariem always loved a challenge and even though she suffered from asthma it didn’t stop her from taking part in an endurance race, in which she strapped her asthma pump to her chest.
After losing it she was put into an ambulance but insisted on finishing the race. This, Ahmed says, was his sister “all over”.
Ahmed Elgwahry, Eslah’s son and Mariem’s brother, is reading out a statement.
He spoke to friends and many others who knew here in order to fully capture the person she was.
Speaking as an image of his sister is projected, he says that she was a person who loved to laugh and would never make anyone feel like they were second best.
“My sister was beautiful, an ambitious young woman who wanted to succeed in her marketing career,” said Ahmed.
“She had fallen in love and had so much to look forward to.”
She had worked hard in her career and on 15 June was looking to start a dream job with a reputable branding company.
The first commemorations will be for Eslah Elgwahry (64) and Mariem Elgwahry (27), a mother and daughter who lived at flat 196 Grenfell Tower.
Mariem had studied at Roehampton University, worked in marketing, and had previously raised concerns about the condition of the tower.
Good morning and welcome to the Guardian’s coverage of the Grenfell inquiry.
Today sees the continuation of commemoration hearings, which are an opportunity for the families of those who lost their lives in the fire to provide a tribute that will be entered into the inquiry record.
A live stream of today’s proceedings has just gone up here.