Vigil in Ottawa for the victims of theft 752: “The worst nightmare”

“The community is completely devastated. Her heart is completely broken ”.
This is the state of mind shared by the adjunct professor in the mathematics department at the University of Ottawa, Termeh Kousha, who was among the few hundred people, mostly citizens of Iranian origin, who came traveled to Parliament Hill in Ottawa Thursday evening to meditate and pay tribute to the victims of the Ukrainian International Airlines Boeing plane crash. The plane en route to Kiev was shot down shortly after taking off from Tehran airport on Wednesday morning by an Iranian surface-to-air missile, according to intelligence services.

The tragedy left 176 dead, including 63 Canadians. Some 138 passengers on the plane were scheduled to fly to Canada on a connecting flight.

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“The worst nightmare”

Eight people who live in Ottawa or on their way to the capital have perished, including three students from the University of Ottawa (Ud’O). M me Kousha knew Alma Oladi, candidate for the doctorate in mathematics at the UofO, died in the crash of Flight PS752.

“It is the worst nightmare for us right now,” continued Ms. Kousha, deploring the death “of all these young Iranians, talented Canadians.”

The photos of the victims, flowers and candles were placed at the foot of the Centennial Flame by the many people who braved a biting cold to greet the victims. This vigil helps the friends and families of the victims to get through the difficult ordeal, it was said.

“We see that we are not alone. People support us. It is good to see that there are not only Iranians here, but that many Canadians have also come to show their respect. It touches us a lot, ”continued Professor Kousha, of Iranian origin.

Photos of the victims, flowers and candles were placed at the foot of the Centennial Flame.
Photos of the victims, flowers and candles were placed at the foot of the Centennial Flame.
Monica Nevins, a full professor in the mathematics department at Ud’O, attended this candlelight vigil to support the friends and families of the missing students.

“It is important to be here to support our friends,” summed up Ms. Nevins, when emotions were strong in many people. Some shed tears during the vigil.

Hamed Rahbari, an Iranian, knew another of the Ottoman plane crash victims, entrepreneur Ali Pey of Kanata. “He was a good person,” said Rahbari. I have a thought for his daughters who lost their father. ”

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau attended the ceremony to pay tribute to the victims and to lay flowers at the memorial.

Atef Oueslati, a native Tunisian living in Montreal, was in Ottawa on Thursday. He insisted on participating in the candlelight vigil in memory of the victims.

“I am here to support families. It is a serious accident, it happens, but unfortunately for these families it is very difficult to accept. It’s very painful. I saw family members crying in the reports, and it hurts my heart to see them in this situation, ”shared Mr. Oueslati.

The University of Ottawa will hold a commemorative ceremony this Friday from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. in the University Center Agora (UCU) in tribute to the three deceased students.

“Our international students are an integral part of our university community, and it is with a heavy heart that we mourn their disappearance,” said the university’s rector and vice-chancellor, Jacques Frémont, in a statement. We offer our sincere condolences to their loved ones, to all who have had the opportunity to work with them at the University and to the Iranian community as a whole. We are heartbroken. They will be greatly missed. ”

The flags at Ottawa City Hall and Ud’O are at half mast in respect of the victims of the plane crash.

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