Together to support the victims of the tragedy

News 28 January, 2018
  • Arnaud Koenig-Soutière

    Sunday, 28 January, 2018 00:32

    Sunday, 28 January, 2018 00:32

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    A year after the bombing at the Great mosque of Quebec, the families of the six victims have sent in the heart of warm thanks to the people for their support, yesterday evening, while launching a call for solidarity endure in the years to come.

    “We thank all those, near or far, who have supported us in the wake of this tragic event. “The throat tied by the emotion, Hidjado Barry could not finish his words, she whose husband Mamadou Tanou figure among the victims.

    “Breathe, it’s going to go,” he slips to the ear of a loved one. Courageously, in front of many cameras, the relatives have delivered vibrant thanks and calls to the unit.

    In the prayer room, the walls are lined with such messages of encouragement, from the community, but also schools, organizations and the population. “This is not even 10 % of what we received,” says Mahedine Djamai, spokesperson for the islamic cultural Center.

    “The emptiness, the absence of the loved one is what has been the hardest for us. The survivors receive support and solidarity… But the void left by the person will never be filled, ” said Safia Hamoudi, the widow of Khaled Belkacemi, a victim, who taught at the University of Laval.


    Many of the members of the community who evaluate that the perception of a part of the population in regard to them must change. About it, they wouldn’t run.

    “We should make more efforts to open up and get out of this caucus, to be a community-targeted and demonised,” suggested Aymen Derbali, who became a paraplegic after the incident.

    It advanced as a solution that the community is more “active” and “organized” to a point of view of the community and humanitarian aid, giving the example of the muslim community of Toronto.


    “It is necessary that each one of us to take responsibility. The media must assume their responsibility. Each citizen must assume. We must say no to hatred, ” he continued, him who wishes to become more involved, especially with young people, to build bridges between communities.

    “It would require that, as a society, we do everything in our power to overcome hatred and intolerance. We must do everything we can to build bridges, reach out to others, we understand. See what are our similarities rather than our differences, ” proposed Safia Hamoudi.

    A “deep vacuum”

    Photo Agence QMI, Daniel Mallard

    “Their dad will not share more moments of joy with them. Our family gatherings are not the same. Our dinners are no longer the same. Their dad will never take their future children in their arms. “

    — Safia Hamoudi, the widow of Khaled Belkacemi, the hand of his son, Amir on the shoulder

    Photo Agence QMI, Daniel Mallard

    “It is true that it is a Quebecer who has sown terror. But it is also true that these are Quebec, doctors, and nurses québec, that have all made an effort to save us. “

    — Aymen Derbali, survivor

    Photo Agence QMI, Daniel Mallard

    “My husband’s death is a tragedy immense. I am still a sadness and a deep vacuum. […] I appeal to the solidarity of all to continue to support us in our grief and support us in our new reality. “

    — Khadija Thabti, widow of Aboubaker Thabti

    The population responds to the call of the community

    The population of Quebec has responded present to the invitation of the islamic cultural Center, which opened its doors yesterday, in the framework of an open evening.

    Several dozen people have seized the hand extended by the muslim community, spending long minutes talking in the prayer room.

    “Make a gesture “

    “It is written on all the walls, but I want to make a gesture of solidarity. To restore the decks, everyone has a responsibility. Their community must be more open, and so are we, we must be more open, ” says Marc Bernatchez.

    The member of parliament for Louis-Hébert Joël Lightbound has also moved to providing good words to the searching families, and to discuss with the community.

    “We must continue to try to build bridges, to be in love and solidarity,” supports the elected liberal.

    “Awareness of events”

    “Allow the injured to talk about what happened from their perspective and to raise awareness of the terrible trials that have faced the families of the victims. “

    These are the two objectives that have guided Tariq Syed for the realization of a documentary a little over an hour on the attack on the Great mosque of Quebec. Screened for the first time yesterday, at the University of Laval, Your last walk in the mosque and gives a voice to the survivors and the families of the victims, who narrate how they have lived the before, during and after the attack. Several were also on-site for viewing.

    “It was a mixed feeling. You are happy to find your family, and your children. But you think also to the fact that others have not had this chance, ” including Hakim, in the documentary, he who protected the daughter of the imam Nazir during the slaughter.


    Over a hundred people attended the screening, the majority of the muslim community of Quebec. However, it was also possible to meet some curious of the outside world.

    “We had organized a meeting a few months after the tragedy, and it was mostly people of the muslim. And today, it is still that. It looks like it is one or the other… I would have liked that [the crowd] to be more shared, ” admits Lise Gauvreault, which contributes to the reconciliation between the communities through the Gateway of intercultural.

    “There’s still more than a not to do. It is necessary to build bridges. This is not a case of a single meeting, ” she adds.