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Dalhousie students fundraise for bursary honouring victims of Iranian plane crash

Dalhousie University contributed $25,000 to cause

3 min read
caption A woman attending Wednesday night's vigil places a white rose at the foot of the memorial.
Sarah Khan

A group of Dalhousie University students have established a bursary fund to honor the memory of those who lost their lives in the Ukrainian plane crash earlier this month.

The tragic crash killed 176 people. Many of the victims were university students, faculty, staff and alumni of different Canadian universities.

Five of them had ties to Nova Scotia:  Masoumeh Ghavi, an engineering student at Dalhousie University, and her sister, Mandieh Ghavi, Halifax dentist Dr. Sharieh Faghihi, and Maryam Malek and Fatemah Mahmoodi, financial management students at Saint Mary’s University.

The Dalhousie Iranian Student Society raised thousands of dollars for the Iranian Memorial Bursary, which will be awarded to an Iranian undergraduate or graduate student demonstrating the need for financial support.

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“We are just trying to keep their names alive here, so people don’t forget them ever, and also help students for years to come,” said Mahsa Majidi, a Dalhousie student and a member of the Dalhousie Iranian Student Society.

The society has been able to raise $4,000 online, with Dalhousie University contributing an additional $25,000. The bursary will be awarded to an Iranian international student each year on the anniversary of the tragedy, helping them continue their education away from home.

“If it was me (a victim of the plane crash), what would I want people to do for me?” said Neda Alizadeh, a PhD candidate in the School of Occupational Therapy and a member of the society.

“We just had an idea and we took it to Dalhousie community and they supported us.”

The Dalhousie Iranian Student Society hosted candlelight vigil outside the Halifax Central Library on Wednesday evening, where the student group collected donations.

caption Coffee and sweets being shared by the organizers at the vigil Wednesday evening.
Sarah Khan

About 30 people showed up and many sung Iranian music.

“This is our city, this is our home … so we want to share that love and grieve with everyone in the city,” said Atefah Tabesh, who attended the vigil.

Tabesh also expressed her grief toward the ongoing tragedy in her home country, Iran.

“Although this is extremely hard and sad for everyone, I am hoping something good will come out of it,” said Tabesh.

“At least, the international community will keep Iran accountable for what they did and hopefully we can bring them to justice.”

The society said it needs to raise $15,000 to $20,000 more before officially launching the bursary.

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About the author

Sarah Khan

I am from India studying journalism at the University of Kings College. I love going on hikes and cooking!

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