A Message of Condolence

On Thursday morning, I was listening to CBC Radio as they listed the names and stories of the five Iranian women who never made it back to Halifax; They were the victims of Flight PS 752; 176 people lost their lives in a plane crash close to Iran’s capital, Tehran, early Wednesday morning.

Maryam Malek, Fatemeh Mahmoodi, Masoumeh Ghavi, Mandieh Ghavi and Dr. Sharieh Faghihi were all wonderfully educated, kind and beautiful women studying and working in our province.

As a mother of two daughters, and having lived a similar life of an international student from the Middle East, I felt the pain of their families — Especially the mothers.

My heart goes out to their families — I can only imagine how excited their mothers were before the holidays, preparing for their arrival; Prepping their favourite meals and arranging family gatherings to see their cousins so that they could share their new experiences in Canada. I remember how hard it was on me and my family saying goodbye at the airport.

What I cannot imagine is the enormous pain that these families are experiencing since they heard the news of the crash. No longer will they be able to see their loved ones beautiful smiles, hear their voices or be able to hug them again.

It is a devastating loss for everyone; All Nova Scotians are in mourning. It was evident today at Dalhousie’s Rebecca Cohn Auditorium, where more than 500 people gathered to give their condolences and show community unity.

We cherish our Iranian community, as they bring a wealth of knowledge.

Thank you to Dalhousie University, Saint Mary’s University and the Al-Rasoul Mosque for organizing your gatherings, ceremonies and vigils. They were truly appreciated by the family and friends of the victims, and it gave everyone the opportunity to come show their love for those who are suffering. Many relatives and friends who knew the women personally spoke — and many tears were shed.

I was honoured to have been able to say a few words of condolence at the mosque gathering. I have always felt that the Iraq community and Iranian community have a lot in common — Especially their love for higher education.

This is a huge loss for Canada, Iran and the entire world.

May they all Rest In Peace.