‘An exceptional girl’


Mournful classmates of dead teen hold hands around football field

By KATHERINE WILTON, The Gazette October 13, 2010
Classmates and friends comfort Yacouba Sidimé (centre), 14, brother of Noutene Sidimé, during a memorial gathering Tuesday at École Secondaire Jacques Rousseau in Longueuil.

Classmates and friends comfort Yacouba Sidimé (centre), 14, brother of Noutene Sidimé, during a memorial gathering Tuesday at École Secondaire Jacques Rousseau in Longueuil.

Photograph by: John Mahoney, The Gazette

MONTREAL – Unable to comprehend the shocking death of 13-year-old Noutene Sidimé, hundreds of classmates and friends gathered on their high school football field Tuesday morning to celebrate her life.

“Noutene, Noutene,” they chanted as they held hands in a circle as large as the field at École Secondaire Jacques Rousseau in Longueuil.

Noutene was remembered as a delightful girl who brought cheer to everyone she met.

“She was an exceptional girl – always with a smile on her face,” said Charles Levi-Kouame, a close friend of Noutene’s brother, Yacouba, 14, who organized the rally on Facebook over the weekend.

Noutene died in a hospital Saturday after falling into a coma last Wednesday. Her father, Moussa Sidimé, called 911, saying he had “slapped” his daughter during an argument at their Longueuil apartment.

The father, charged with aggravated assault, appeared briefly in court Tuesday. His bail hearing was postponed to Friday.

When paramedics arrived at the girl’s home last week, Noutene was unconscious and bleeding heavily from the nose. She fell into a coma and never recovered.

Charles told the crowd at the high school that they were all surprised and stunned by Noutene’s death.

“Noutene, you have touched us all in many ways,” he said. “I hope you like where you are. We will never forget you.”

Yacouba was given a huge cheer by his fellow students as he walked to midfield, where dozens of balloons were released in memory of his sister, a Grade 8 student.

Yacouba declined to talk to the media, but several of Noutene’s friends said they had no explanation for what happened last week.

Most people interviewed Tuesday said they weren’t aware of any problems the girl may have had with her father.

Some of the girl’s neighbours had told reporters there was conflict in the family because Noutene didn’t always want to pray with her family, who are Muslim. But several close friends disputed those statements Tuesday.

Longueuil police confirmed Tuesday that the death is not considered an honour crime, a term used to describe punishment meted out to those who fail to follow family customs or religious practices.

Xavier Audate, a family friend, said he never heard about violence in the Sidimé home.

“What happened to her is an injustice,” he said of Nou­tene. “She loved life and loved being on this Earth.”

© Copyright (c) The Montreal Gazette

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  1. From what I’ve heard there was significant change in this little girl’s attitude in the last couple of years with her becoming quiet & sullen where she used to be happy & talkative. My guess is the oppression began when she reached puberty and her father probably started monitoring her behavior then.

    Some one else said (and I can’t verify this) that a long time non-muslim, adult, female friend of the family was aggressively verbally abused by family members when she went to the home to convey her condolences.

    I doubt this was an accident or domestic abuse as it was called by a police spokesperson who also denied it was an honor killing.

    Once again, these people bring trouble to our shores.

  2. Yep, and our liberals keep excusing it….And daughters and sisters keep paying the price for their agenda…

    To them, their utopian dream of multiculturalism must stay alive no matter the cost…

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