What we know about Muslim families in the deadly truck attack in London, Ontario
They came to Canada from Pakistan in 2007, ready to work hard to start a new life for their baby girl.
Salman Afzaal, 46, his 44-year-old wife Madiha Salman, and Salman’s mother Talat Afzaal have no close relatives in Canada, but Halema Khan told CBC News that they are closely related to her family.
The couple, their 15-year-old daughter Yumna Afzaal and Salman’s 74-year-old mother Killed after a black truck hit them on Sunday It’s like they take a walk at night. The nine-year-old Fayez survived.
“We participated in each other’s happy events, sad events, always by each other,” Khan said.
“It was not easy for them, but they succeeded,” she and her two children said at a memorial set up at the scene of the attack.
“They work around the clock. They contribute to the community, not only the Muslim community, but the entire Canadian community.”
The couple, their children and his mother developed new habits during COVID-19, including walking at night, said Ahmed Hegazi, a friend of the family.
“Their kids are the kind of kids you want your kids to be friends with,” Hegazy said.
“People have developed their own habit of trying to deal with this blockade, and Salman’s family has developed a habit of trying to go for a walk before sunset. Salman’s mother likes these walks very much, and she always wants to go out for these walks.
“They hardly knew that this would be their last walk.”
A 20-year-old man was charged with four counts of murder and one count of attempted murder.
CBC News has obtained permission from the family to publish a photo in which Fayez has been cut out. Here is what we know more about the family (CBC News is working hard to gather more information about Talat Afzaal, who was an artist and a teacher):
Madiha Salman, 44: “A shining, generous, caring person”
Madiha obtained a bachelor’s degree in engineering in Pakistan and was the only woman in the 174 class. She told her colleagues at the University of West London that she had a master’s degree there and was studying for a doctorate.
“Madiha is a shining, generous and caring person who values ??education, women’s progress, equality and research,” said Jason Gerhard.
He added that Madiha was enthusiastic and powerful.
“She worked in environmental engineering, raised a beautiful family, and made great contributions to her professional and community network.”
Madiha is Moawaz Sheikh’s mentor during the Western period and always has time to answer students’ questions.
“I always remember that she was very helpful. As a student, I always asked a lot of questions. She was always able to stay after class, more than other teaching assistants. She was very helpful.”
Khan said that Madiha is working as a graduate student and is also a writer, publishing columns in various magazines.
“She uses her pen to spread love and peace.”
Khan said that Madiha recently lost his father due to COVID-19 and other family members were also affected by the pandemic.
Two days before she was killed, Madiha and Khan talked about their children and the school they attended.
“The last word she rang in my bell was,’Please leave my prayer in your family, my family in your prayer.’ What she said to me.”
Hegazy said that her family is working hard to get her to complete her PhD so that she can work in her field.
Salman Afzaal, 46: “He is always smiling”
Salman Afzaal is a physiotherapist who provides care for the elderly in many nursing homes in southwestern Ontario.
“Salman provides care for our mom, dad, grandmother and grandfather,” said Jeff Renaud, CEO of Ritz Lutheran Villa, one of the nursing homes where Salman works.
“If you watch his actions with the residents, you will find that he is kind, caring, caring, convinced of them, and provides services to the residents to help them maintain mobility and a little independence. Live.”
According to the Public Registry of the Ontario College of Physical Therapists, Salman received training at Karachi University and graduated in 1997.
According to the registry, Salman speaks English, Urdu and Punjabi.
“He is a great person. He is always smiling. He is always positive and optimistic, ready to help us with whatever needs to be done at home on behalf of our residents,” said Renault, who hired Salman in 2015.
“He can get along well with residents and other members of our care team. He has a good, simple, and sincere approach. He has a high reputation as a physical therapist.”
Hegazy said that everyone in the Muslim mosque in London knows Salman and his family, and his family often spends Ramadan with Salman’s.
“He is just a beautiful person, always smiling, always helpful and very kind.”
15-year-old Yumna Afzaal and 9-year-old Fayez: “Good boy, role model student”
Yumna is enrolled in the 9th grade of Oakridge Middle School. After graduating from the London Islamic School, she will become a student of the school in 2020.
Hassan Moostafa knows the family well. He said that Afzaal painted a large mural in the corridor of the school. This floor-to-ceiling mural features the image of the earth floating in space, with the words “learning, leading, enlightening” beside it.
Beside the image of the earth, the mural reads: “Go for the moon, even if you miss it, you will land among the stars.”
Mustafa said: “She told our principal that she wanted to make this mural as the school’s legacy, so every time we went to the basement, it was only a small part of her legacy.”
“She will leave more and greater legacy to her family. But it will be a visual reminder for us-every time, all children and all of us, congregation and community members, will see and Cherish it forever.”
Moostafa said his daughter and Yumna are good friends and that losing her and three of her family members in the attack on Sunday was “very upset”.
Asad Choudhary, principal of the London Islamic School, said that faculty and students are praying for Yumna and her brother.
Watch | Vigil for the Afzaal family in London, Ontario. Attract thousands of people:
“Great kid, model student,” Chowdhury said. “Definitely a treasure of our school community. Both of them are good friends, not only their classmates, but also good friends of the entire school community. They are very academically talented.”
Principal Mike Phillips said that since Yumna entered Oakridge during the pandemic in September, she spent most of her time studying at home via video chat. However, Phillips said she was still able to impress her teacher.
“The teacher who worked directly with her said that she is a dedicated honor student, likes to learn, works directly with her peers, and likes school. The teachers also shared that she is interested in owning her own business and in her future life. To give back to the community.”
Oakridge students are planning to launch a green and purple ribbon campaign in the name of Yumna: purple is Yumna’s favorite color, and green represents a stand against Islamophobia.