Remembering the Victims of Flight PS752 and Supporting their FamiliesWritten by Making Headlines
Efforts are currently underway to support the families of the 57 Canadian victims of the crash of Flight PS752 in Iran on January 8th, 2020.
The Canadian government is promising to match donations made to the Toronto Foundation's Canada Strong Campaign to support the families of the Canadian victims. The campaign was established by the Toronto-based founder of Paramount Fine Foods, Mohamad Fakih. To learn more about the campaign and how to donate, click here.
According to MP Omar Alghabra, as reported to CTV News, the government is also looking to extend support to the families of the 29 Canadian permanent residents who were also killed.
The University of Toronto has established a memorial scholarship fund for Iranian international students or students of Iranian Studies at the University of Toronto in memory of those lost, which included six members of the University of Toronto community, including six students. The University of Toronto will match donations made to the endowed fund. To learn more about the fund and how to donate, click here.
The University of Alberta has also established a memorial scholarship fund for graduate students in honour of the 10 professors, students, and alumni who died in the crash. To learn more about the fund and to donate, click here.
The question has been asked about why so many Canadians and people travelling to Canada were on Flight PS752. According to Ian Austen writing for The New York Times, "Today, by some counts, Canada has the third-largest number of expatriate Iranians in the world and its universities are a top destination for Iranian graduate students." Academic Jeremy Wildeman, a Visiting Research Fellow, University of Bath who studies Canada’s relationship with the Middle East, explained in an article for The Conversation Canada, "Flight PS752, with its stop in Kyiv, was popular with Iranians flying to Canada because there are no direct links between the two countries. It is also a cheap alternative route in Iran, which is impoverished by sanctions, conflict and corruption."
This is not the first time Canadians have been devastated by losses in an international plane crash, most recently, in March 2019, when an Ethiopian airlines flight from Addis Ababa, Ethiopia to Nairobi, Kenya crashed. 18 Canadians died in that crash, including Carleton University Professor Pius Adesanmi, and vigils were held in Toronto, Brampton, Hamilton, Winnipeg, and Edmonton.
On June 23, 1985, 280 Canadians died in the crash of Air India Flight 182. Angela Failler, Canada Research Chair in Culture and Public Memory at the University of Winnipeg, believes that the difference in how both the government and general public have reacted to the loss of Canadians, all of them people of colour, this time around in contrast to the lack of support for the families of the Air India crash, who were also majority people of colour, demonstrates how far Canada has come in terms of recognizing its multiethnic identity. She writes in an article for The Conversation Canada, "It would take 25 years of lobbying by Air India families before the government of Canada would publicly claim their loved ones, as well as the suspected perpetrators, as Canada’s own. Does the national mourning as a result of the tragedy of PS752 mean then that Canada has since changed? Are we befittingly shaken this time around? Other news reports are citing diversity and multiculturalism experts who think so, some claiming that there has been a '180-degree shift.'"
Asghar Dhirani (Toronto, Ontario), Pedram Mousavi and Mojgan Daneshmand & their daughters Daria & Dorina Mousavi (Edmonton, Alberta), Ghanimat Azhdari (University of Guelph), Milad Ghasemi Ariani (Guelph, Ontario), Behnaz Khoei Ebrahimi & her son Rahmtin Ahmadi (Toronto, Ontario), Couple Firouzeh Madani & Naser Pourshabanoshibi (North Vancouver, BC), Shekoufeh Choupannejad & her daughters Saba Saadat & Sara Saadat (Edmonton, Alberta), Forough Khadem (Winnipeg, Manitoba), Afifa Tarbhai & daughter Alina Tarbhai (Markham, Ontario), Ardalan Ebnoddin Hamidi & Niloofar Razzaghi & their son Kamyar Ebnoddin Hamidi (Port Coquitlam, BC), Newlywed couple Sara Mamani and Siavash Ghafouri-Azar (Montreal, Quebec), Sisters Mandieh & Mansoumeh Ghavi (Halifax, Nova Scotia), Fareed Arasteh (Carleton University), Mansour Pourjam (Ottawa, Ontario), Grade 10 student Maya Zibaie (Toronto, Ontario), Couple Iman & Parinaz Ghaderpanah (Toronto, Ontario), Sharieh Faghihi (Halifax, Nova Scotia), Maryam Malek (Saint Mary's University), Fatemeh Mahmoodi (Saint Mary's University), Siblings Zeynab Asadi-Lari & Mohammad Asadi-Lari (University of Toronto), Kiana Ghasemi (Toronto, Ontario), Ali Pey (Ottawa, Ontario), Parisa Eghbalian and daughter Reera Esmaeilion (Guelph, Ontario), Marzieh Foroutan (University of Waterloo), Mansour Esnaashary Esfahani (University of Waterloo), Grade 12 student Arshia Arbabbahrami (Calgary, Alberta), Kasra Saati (Calgary, Alberta), Mojtaba Abbasnezhad (University of Toronto), 18-year-old Arad Zarei (Richmond Hill, Ontario), Hadis Hayatdavoudi (Western University), Milad Nahavandi (Western University), Ghazal Nourian (Western University), Sajedeh Saraeian (Western University), Bahareh Haj Esfandiari, Mehdi Sadeghi & their daughter Anisa Sadeghi (Winnipeg, Manitoba), Negar Borghei (McGill University), Evin Arsalani & Hiva Molani & their one-year-old daughter Kurdia Molani (Ajax, Ontario), Neda Sadighi (Richmond Hill, Ontario), Suzan Golbabapour (Richmond Hill, Ontario), Newlyweds Pouneh Gorji & Arash Pourzarabi (University of Alberta), Nasim Rahmanifar (University of Alberta), Amir Hossein Saeedinia (University of Alberta), Mohammad Mahdi Elyasi (University of Alberta), Elnaz Nabiyi (University of Alberta), Darya Toghian (George Brown College), Amir Moradi (Queen's University), Fereshteh Maleki Dizaje (Ottawa, Ontario), Alma Oladi (University of Ottawa), Saharnaz Haghjoo & daughter Elsa Jadidi (Toronto, Ontario), Roja Azadian (Ottawa, Ontario), Friends Shahab Raana and Sahand Hatefi Mostaghim (Montreal, Quebec), Niloufar Sadr (Montreal, Quebec), Ayesha Pourgharderi & daughter Fatimeh Pasavand (North Vancouver, BC), Mehraban Badiei (University of Ottawa), Saeed Kashani (University of Ottawa), Amirhossein Ghassemi (University of Manitoba), Sadaf Hajiaghavand (York University), Couple Mohammed Sakat & Fatemah Kazerani (North Vancouver, BC)
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