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Murdered man had left Egypt for a freer life in Sydney

Family say Ahmed Ghoniem came to Australia to live free from persecution over his sexuality
Arq gay club in Sydney, where Ahmed Ghoniem was a regular

The family of Ahmed Ghoniem, the man stabbed and set alight in Sydney on Saturday, have spoken about him to police.

They said he left Egypt three or four years ago so that he could live a freer life in Australia where his sexuality could be openly expressed.

'He was a great friend,' said a cousin who asked not to be named, The Australian reports.

'We loved him very much and will miss him. He was passionate about his cooking and wanted to become a chef.'

Police said Ghoniem had marched in several Sydney Mardi Gras parades, was a regular at gay club Arq and worked in an innercity bar.

A neighbour said: 'I used to see a lot of people coming in and out of his flat... but other than a lot of people, nothing out of the ordinary'.

Police are checking CCTV tapes to see who was in Ghoniem's apartment with him on Saturday, when he was stabbed up to 20 time and set alight.

Anyone with any information should contact Crime Stoppers in Australia on 1800 333 000. 

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