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A Merry Christmas for Natálka

Ostrava, 18.12.2009 7:32, (ROMEA)

Natálka Kudriková and her family, who became the victims of an arson attack this past April in Vítkov, are going to have a much more pleasant Christmas. Police officer Kamil Sabbagh has decided to hold a one-time collection and benefit action on their behalf, which he is calling “Merry Christmas for Natálka”. Sabbagh is one of the police officers on the force currently guarding the suspects who were charged with the arson attack and taken into custody. “It’s wonderful that a police officer is organizing something like this. I would like to very much thank him and everyone else who is helping us,” Natálka’s mother Anna Siváková told Romea.cz.

The handing over of the donation check will take place at the XMASS STUDENT PARTY - DANCE CELEBRATION WARMUP 2010, on the evening of Saturday, 19 December in the Mulata Bar on Stodolní street in Ostrava. The event will be attended by the entire family, including Natálka, who will be seen in public for the first time since the arson attack.

“We said we would try to support little Natálka with a few crowns. We don’t think we’ll raise anything like a hundred thousand – we’ll be glad to get together at least CZK 10 000. My brother-in-law is half-Roma himself, and he sent us 5 000 plus another 1 000 for gas so Mr Baláž of Europe-Roma CZ can drive the family here. We will collect more money during the benefit and then buy things according to the list I have received from Natálka’s parents,” Sabbagh told Romea.cz.

Sabbagh said the bar and the neighborhood will be heavily guarded by police throughout the evening. A police escort will also accompany the car in which the Kudrik-Sivák family will return home. “We have had word that extremists may try to attack the benefit, so police will be on hand to take care of public order,” Sabbagh said.

Sabbagh did not have an easy time advocating for the benefit, which will be attended by many of his colleagues. Not everyone agreed with it: “She’s a gypsy girl and you’re supporting her… her dad had problems with the law – those were the main objections. I told them I wasn’t interested whether they are yellow, pink or purple, she is only two and a half years old and she is not to blame for what her father has done in the past.”

“Mr Sabbagh turned to me as a representative of the family of Pavel Kudrik and Anna Siváková and I put them in contact. I am very glad this good person has been found to help Natálka and her family to have a beautiful Christmas. I thank all of the sponsors and participants,” Ladislav Baláž, coordinator of the Europe-Roma CZ association, told Romea.cz.

Natálka’s mother also explained the recent change in the reporting of Natálka’s last name. “Only my oldest daughter has the surname Siváková, the other three children, including Natálka, have the surname Kudriková,” she explained.

František Kostlán, Gwendolyn Albert, František Kostlán, translated by Gwendolyn Albert
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