Atta Elayyan

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Atta Elayyan
Personal information
Date of birth (1985-06-21)21 June 1985[1]
Place of birth Kuwait
Date of death 15 March 2019(2019-03-15) (aged 33)
Place of death Christchurch, New Zealand
Playing position Goalkeeper
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
Canterbury United
Futsal Dragons
National team
New Zealand Futsal 19
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only

Atta Mohammed Elayyan[2] (Arabic: عطا عليان‎; 21 June 1985 – 15 March 2019) was a Jordanian-New Zealand futsal player of Palestinian origin and CEO of Christchurch-based app development company LWA Solutions.[3][4][5]

Early life[edit]

Born in Kuwait,[6] and having Jordanian nationality,[7] Elayyan was of Palestinian ancestry, and his father was from the Abu Dis area of East Jerusalem.[2]

Beginning in the early 1990s, Elayyan lived in Corvallis, Oregon, where his father established a mosque and school.[8] There he attended Wilson Elementary School.[9] He later moved to Christchurch, as a preteen,[8] and attended Christchurch Boys' High School and the University of Canterbury's computer science programme.[9] His father, Mohammed Elayyan, co-founded one of the Christchurch mosques in 1993, a year after arriving in New Zealand.[9][10]

From 2002 until 2008, Elayyan was a member of the New Zealand-based Counter-Strike team, NewType.[11][12] He played Counter-Strike: Source professionally in this time, and won several competitions.[11] While a member of the Counter-Strike community, Elayyan participated in tournaments and posted on forums under the nicknames crazyarab and Cr@zyArab.[11][12][13]

Futsal career[edit]

Elayyan was the goalkeeper for the Canterbury United Futsal Dragons and had made 19 appearances for the New Zealand national futsal team. He won two national titles with the Canterbury team and was the recipient of New Zealand Football's futsal player of the year award in 2014.[11][14]

Elayyan had been coaching the Christchurch Boys' High School futsal team that had entered the secondary schools' national competition. This tournament was set to start on 25 March 2019.[15]

Business career[edit]

Elayyan was recognized as one of New Zealand’s top IT leaders and was named in the country's 100 most innovative chief information officers in information communications and technology in both 2017[16] and 2018.[17] In 2010 he co-founded Lazyworm Applications, a business specializing in the delivery of applications on Microsoft platforms. Lazyworm Applications were responsible for building top selling YouTube app on Microsoft platform (MetroTube)[18] and a Twitter app on Microsoft platform (Tweetro)[19]. He founded its services arm, LWA Solutions, in 2012, and remained its CEO until his death. He was also awarded the prestigious Microsoft MVP during this period [20]. During his time as CEO, LWA Solutions undertook major ventures with many of New Zealand's largest companies and corporations, including major virtual reality technology for Ports of Auckland which has been described as a world first.[19] LWA Solutions was a finalist in the 2015 Microsoft Partner Awards.


Memorial to Elayyan amongst the floral tributes on Rolleston Avenue, Christchurch

Elayyan was one of fifty-one killed in the Christchurch mosque shootings on 15 March 2019.[21][22] After his death, several donation initiatives were started by close friends to assist Elayyan's family, including a GoFundMe campaign that raised more than £25,000 and a Give A Little campaign that raised over $195,000. Mohammed Elayyan was also shot and wounded in the attacks and survived.[10]

Elayyan was married and is survived by his wife and 2-year-old daughter.[13][11] They married in 2015, and she was from Jordan.[23]


  1. ^ "Futsal Whites Player Profiles". New Zealand Football. Retrieved 16 March 2019.
  2. ^ a b "Six Palestinians confirmed killed in New Zealand mosque attacks". Al Jazeera. March 2019. Retrieved 18 March 2019.
  3. ^ "Blog – Young Entrepreneur Series: Atta Elayyan – UC Centre for Entrepreneurship". Retrieved 17 March 2019.
  4. ^ "Atta Elayyan, LWA Solutions". Retrieved 16 May 2018.
  5. ^ Warren, Tom. "Building Windows: Microsoft pins its hopes on a new generation of apps and developers". The Verge. Vox Media. Retrieved 17 March 2019.
  6. ^ "Christchurch shootings: Atta Elayyan, New Zealand futsal goalkeeper, among dead". BBC. 17 March 2019. Retrieved 18 March 2019.
  7. ^ "Christchurch mosque shootings victims: The people killed as they prayed". BBC. 21 March 2019. The Palestinian-origin sportsman, who also had Jordanian nationality,
  8. ^ a b "Man raised in Oregon killed in terror attack on New Zealand mosques". The Oregonian. 16 March 2019. Retrieved 18 March 2019.
  9. ^ a b c Day, James (16 March 2019). "Former Corvallis man killed in New Zealand terror attacks". Corvallis Gazette Times. Retrieved 18 March 2019.
  10. ^ a b Staff, Toi. "At least 6 Palestinians said among dead in New Zealand shooting". The Times of Israel. Retrieved 20 March 2019.
  11. ^ a b c d e Zaidi, Taha. "Remembering Atta Elayyan, CS:S pro and victim of Christchurch Shooting". Daily Esports. Enthusiast Gaming. Retrieved 20 March 2019.
  12. ^ a b Walker, Alex. "Counter-Strike Scene Honours New Zealand Player Killed In Terrorist Attack". Kotaku. Retrieved 20 March 2019.
  13. ^ a b Favis, Elise (17 March 2019). "Esports Player And App Developer Atta Elayyan Among Victims Of New Zealand Massacre". Game Informer. Retrieved 18 March 2019.
  14. ^ "Futsal on the rise in Canterbury as men win national title". 12 December 2014. Retrieved 17 March 2019.
  15. ^ "Goalkeeper Atta Elayyan who died in Christchurch mosque shooting inspired others". Retrieved 17 March 2019.
  16. ^ "CIO100 2017 Atta Elayyan," Retrieved 19 March 2019.
  17. ^ "CIO100 2018 Atta Elayyan," Retrieved 19 March 2019.
  18. ^ "CEO of company behind the MetroTube app for Windows Phone killed during the Christchurch, New Zealand terrorist attack". 16 March 2019. Retrieved 15 July 2019.
  19. ^ a b "Christchurch developers produce "world-first" VR app for Ports of Auckland," Retrieved 19 March 2019.
  20. ^ "Atta Elayyan | Speakers | Channel 9". Retrieved 15 July 2019.
  21. ^ "NZ futsal goalkeeper among those killed in Christchurch terror attacks". 16 March 2019. Retrieved 16 March 2019.
  22. ^ "New Zealand Football mourning Christchurch shootings victim, Futsal White Atta Elayyan". 17 March 2019. Retrieved 17 March 2019.
  23. ^ "Jordanians unite in mourning for Atta Elayyan after Christchurch attacks". 18 March 2019. Retrieved 24 March 2019.