By Hayden Godfrey
Ryerson’s Iranian Students Association (ISARU) held a memorial on Wednesday to honour the lives of two alumni who were victims of the crash of Ukraine International Airlines Flight 752 on the morning of Jan. 8.
Mahsa Amirliravi and Mohsen Salahi were both engineering alumni and a married couple who met during their time at Ryerson, according to Global News.
Members of Ryerson’s Iranian community gathered in the Sheldon & Tracy Levy Student Learning Centre (SLC) to honour them, and had the opportunity to write messages of condolence in notebooks that will be sent to their families.
The memorial was punctuated by a minute-long moment of silence, which was announced by ISARU executives.
Attendees were invited to share food traditionally served at Iranian funerals. This included numerous sweet dishes that symbolize happiness and sweetness going forward to the families of Amirliravi and Salahi.
“I’m looking around right now, and there’s people who are standing next to each other who would probably never stand together”
On Jan. 9, Ryerson president Mohamed Lachemi released a statement via Ryerson Today saying that the university “[extends its] deepest sympathies to Mahsa and Mohsen’s families, friends and colleagues, and to everyone who has suffered loss in this terrible tragedy.”
York University, University of Toronto, Ontario Tech University, Centennial College, George Brown College, and Fleming College also lost members of their communities.
“We were truly shocked,” said Elly Khosravi, ISARU vice-president of finance who was also the emcee of the memorial. “We knew a bunch of people who [lost their lives]. I hope this tragic event brings us closer together in the future.”
Khosravi, whose mother frequently serves as a host for Iranian newcomers, has also attended similarly structured memorials at other Ontario universities, notably McMaster University, which hosted a memorial for two current graduate students who lost their lives in the disaster.
Khosravi said that her mother, who helps newcomers get settled in Canada, was the most shocked of the members of her family.
“It’s deeply tragic, and I’m glad the community is doing something in support,” said Jwalit Bharwani, a third-year mechanical engineering student. “I’m looking around right now, and there’s people who are standing next to each other who would probably never stand together.”