As Christchurch terror survivor Farid Ahmed sat in the Oval Office waiting to meet US President Donald Trump he was not nervous.

He was not focused on the controversial leader's polarising politics, he was not anxious about meeting the so-called leader of the free world.

He had just one thing on his mind - to make sure the world heard, and understood, his message.

On March 15 Ahmed and his wife Husna were at the Al Noor Mosque when a gunman opened fire.

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READ MORE: Christchurch mosque shootings: 'I forgive him' - survivor's message to gunman who killed his wife

Husna managed to help most of the women and children escape.

She was shot dead as she went back into the mosque to find her husband, who uses a wheelchair.

Ahmed managed to escape - but also went back in, desperate to help his brothers and
find his wife.

Days after the attack he spoke to the Herald about how he had forgiven the killer - who took 51 lives and wounded almost the same number of people.

Last month he travelled to the US to attend a conference around religious freedoms.

He was one of 27 people selected to meet Trump in his Whitehouse office on the second day of the event.

The official meeting was beamed around the world, showing Ahmed addressing Trump and thanking him for his support following the March 15 shootings.

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Survivor Farid Ahmed spoke to the Herald days after his wife Husna was gunned down at their mosque. Photo / Alan Gibson
Survivor Farid Ahmed spoke to the Herald days after his wife Husna was gunned down at their mosque. Photo / Alan Gibson

But what the world did not see was the initial meeting between the two men.

"He came in and welcomed everyone, and then he came straight towards me." Ahmed told the Herald.

"He leaned forward towards me in a very nice and humble way, he looked at my eyes and he said 'how are you?'

"He said 'thank you for coming all this way, I heard what happened over there and it should not have happened'.

"Then he straightened up and starting talking to all of us."

A few minutes later the media were invited in and the next dialogue between Ahmed and Trump was captured on camera.

He thanked the president and spontaneously reached over to shake his hand.

Ahmed said many people would not understand his gestures.

"I did not think about politics at all, I'm not a politician," he explained.

"I was totally focused on one issue, religious freedom.

President Donald Trump shakes hands with Farid Ahmed in the Oval Office. Photo / Supplied
President Donald Trump shakes hands with Farid Ahmed in the Oval Office. Photo / Supplied

"The whole world is affected either directly or indirectly by religious persecution - whether it is a bombing in Sri Lanka, shootings at a synagogue or mosque - it influences us all.

"I want people to come together, I want harmony and I was not thinking about other things."

He said there were certainly many things he and Trump would not agree on, but his purpose in travelling to the US was not to table those.

"I believe even his followers will be able to see that we are both humans who shook hands with one another and we had no bad feelings ... I thought that little gesture would be so positive.

"That day there were things we agreed on and those things should be encouraged and celebrated, there should not be any barriers.

"If you create barriers, how can you work in this world?"

The day after meeting Trump, Ahmed was selected to speak to US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo.

Christchurch terror survivor Farid Ahmed (R) meets US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo.
Christchurch terror survivor Farid Ahmed (R) meets US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo.

"I spoke about my experience, but I spoke about how New Zealand reacted and how together we are sharing our grief," he said.

"My story was positive and did not spend too much time describing the horrific things that happened - I focused on how can other people learn from the way we reacted together and what other lessons can we learn."

Ahmed said he was "overwhelmed" at how his message of positivity, forgiveness and unity was received in the US.

He said he had queues of people wanting to meet him and commend him for sharing his message, and to praise the New Zealand reaction to the shooting and Muslim community.

Ahmed said the trip was physically and mentally exhausting, but he was willing to sacrifice his health for the greater good.

The greater good was also helping him heal.

And, he was inspired by Husna - who passionately believed and taught about forgiveness
and unity.

"When you focus on yourself you grieve more, but when you extend the circle bigger and you start to think about the other people affected it becomes easier to deal with," he said.

"Right from the beginning I didn't focus on my own grief, even when the shooting was happening and I went back in I was thinking bigger.

"This is also Husna's message."

Husna Ahmed - a woman with a big heart and message

Husna Ahmed was killed in the March 15 terror attacks in Christchurch.
Husna Ahmed was killed in the March 15 terror attacks in Christchurch.

Ahmed suffered severe injuries when he was hit by a car driven by a drink-driver in 1998.

He was airlifted from Nelson to Christchurch Hospital with near-fatal injuries and Husna was told there was 93 per cent chance he would die.

"My condition was terrible, the doctor told her 'he's not going to survive'," he explained.

"Husna did not leave my side for a second.

"For 10 days I was in an induced coma and she stuck with me.

"When I came out of the coma and I started to speak we were talking about the young man who had hit me and changed my life.

"Husna was the first one to say 'he must have had a bad day, the poor guy'.

"That was just her - she never held a grudge, she was like that, she was so selfless.

"So this is her message, this is my message."

Ahmed said he would continue to spread his message as long and as far as he could.

"I am doing my job," he said.

"Sometimes you get disappointed with other people's behaviour and that is the test - instead of feeling angry we should show sympathy for them.

"That is the attitude Husna had and that's also the attitude I have."