They met on a flight to Germany, each sure for Tehran, drawn collectively by their shared grief.

One from Edmonton, the opposite from Toronto, each targeted on reaching their homeland in Iran, the scene of this week’s airliner crash.

Standing facet by facet in Frankfurt Airport, related by a shared set of earbuds, Mohammad Javad Soleimani Meimandi and Alireza Ghandchi talked about their ache with CBC News.

“I lost all of my family — my son, my daughter and my wife,” Ghandchi, who lives in Toronto, mentioned whereas they waited to catch a flight for Istanbul, the following leg of the journey.

The crash killed his spouse, Faezeh Falsafi, his daughter, Dorsa Ghandchi, and his son, Daniel.

“I don’t have anything now, and I lost all of the things in the world,” he mentioned. “I don’t know how I can continue my life.”

Bound by grief, 2 men become friends on journey to ID bodies of loved ones 1
Ghandchi of Toronto, along with his spouse, Faezeh Falsafi, and their son, Daniel. (Submitted by Alireza Ghandchi)

While Ghandchi spoke, Soleimani Meimandi let loose an extended sigh.

When his flip got here, he tried to describe the loss of his spouse, Elnaz Nabiy, who, like him, was a PhD scholar on the University of Alberta’s School of Business.

“I cannot describe by just words — because in just one second, I lost all of my life,” mentioned Soleimani Meimandi, who stayed residence in Edmonton to examine over the vacations whereas his spouse travelled to Iran.

“Somehow life is meaningless right now for me,” he mentioned. “I don’t know what I should do. The only thing right now I want to do is just go to Iran, attend the funeral and understand the reason for this catastrophe.”

Ukrainian International Airlines Flight PS752, sure for Kyiv, crashed Wednesday shortly after taking off from Tehran’s worldwide airport. All 176 folks on board died: 57 have been Canadian residents, and a complete of 138 have been in the end sure for Canada.

The crash killed dentists and medical doctors, teachers and college students, households and younger {couples}.

Asked about his household, Ghandchi mentioned his spouse had graduated with a grasp’s diploma in mechanical engineering from Sharif University of Technology, Iran’s most prestigious establishment of greater studying. 

He spoke about his 17-year-old daughter, who performed piano and loved making graphic animations.

At one level within the interview, he started to say: “And my son is …”

“Was,” his new good friend corrected.

“Was eight years old,” Ghandchi completed the sentence.

His household was in Iran on trip, Ghandchi mentioned. He could not journey with them as a result of of work.

‘I’d like to speak about my spouse’

Partway by the interview, after a sequence of questions concerning the crash, Soleimani Meimandi gently modified the topic. 

“Right now, I’d like to talk about my wife a little bit more, so I actually feel better,” he mentioned. “She was a really smart person, a nice person, and talented.”

His spouse, who additionally graduated with a grasp’s diploma from Sharif University, cared deeply concerning the struggles of the Iranian folks, he mentioned. The couple moved to Canada to proceed their research lower than two years in the past.

Bound by grief, 2 men become friends on journey to ID bodies of loved ones 2
Soleimani Meimandi and his spouse, Elnaz Nabiy, each studied on the University of Alberta in Edmonton. (Submitted by Mohammad Javad Soleimani Meimandi)

“And she was always thankful to Canada, that let us go and study and start a new life,” he mentioned. “But she cared a lot about people in our home country of Iran.”

Ghandchi mentioned he had spoken lately to his household. His daughter informed him she had realized a brand new track whereas in Iran, in all probability one by the rock band Queen, and was keen to come residence to sing and play it for him.

Queen songs have been household favourites, he mentioned, and will probably be performed on the funerals.

‘How can we proceed?’

Both men, just like the households of all 176 victims, mentioned they need to know the reality about what occurred to Flight PS752, to know whether or not it was downed by a missile or by another trigger. They referred to as on Prime Minister Justin Trudeau to ensure all questions concerning the crash are correctly answered. 

“It’s really important for us to know what was the reason for this catastrophe,” mentioned Soleimani Meimandi. “It’s really important for us for someone to take responsibility. We are really confused, and we trust nobody.”

He desires a global group that features Iran and Canada and different international locations that misplaced residents to be concerned.

“Our hope is that it was just a technical problem,” he mentioned. “This is our sincere hope. We want more solid evidence.”

“It’s our right to know what happened to our families,” Ghandchi mentioned.

Near the tip of the interview, Ghandchi requested, rhetorically, “How can I continue?”

Then he glanced at his new good friend and mentioned, “How can we proceed after that?”


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