Salman Afzaa (right) with his mother, wife and children. File photo
Tariq Butt, Correspondent
The Western University of Ontario, Canada, has announced setting up two scholarships in honour of Salman Afzaal and Madiha Salman, the couple killed along with two other family members in an attack in Ontario on June 6, 2021.
The award will help ensure the people remember how Madiha Salman and her husband Salman Afzaal lived as people who embraced inclusion, valued education and built up their community.
The "MadihaSalman Memorial Scholarship in Civil and Environmental Engineering” will go each year to a full-time female graduate student enrolled in a doctoral or master’s programme within the department of civil and environmental engineering, whose research is focused on environmental engineering.Madiha Salman earned her master’s in engineering at Western and was working for her PhD in environmental engineering. The university awarded her a posthumous doctorate during June’s virtual graduation ceremony.
"As a Muslim, Madiha Salman strongly believed in inclusivity and so this award will be open to students who advocate for inclusion of all races and religions,” a spokesperson for her family said.
The university has also established the SalmanAfzaal Memorial Scholarship in Physical Therapy, to be awarded each year to a full-time graduate student enrolled in a doctoral or master’s programme in health and rehabilitation sciences.
Preference will be given to a student involved in leadership, research and/or innovation in physical therapy. Salman earned his master’s at Western in 2010 and worked as a physiotherapist in long-term care homes.
People mourn Pakistani family members killed in the attack in London. File
The couple had been walking on a west London sidewalk with their 15-year-old daughter Yumna, nine-year-old son Fayez and Salman’s mother on the evening of June 6 when they were hit by a truck.
The London police allege the driver targeted them for being Muslims. The tragedy sparked shock, grief and anger throughout Canada and around the world.
Western, London and the nation rallied in support of the family and to condemn Islamophobia. A vigil, an interfaith memorial walk, and their funeral drew tens of thousands of mourners. Endorsed by the family, the scholarships will offer comfort and commemoration, said Western University President Alan Shepard.
As per eligibility criteria, the candidate must be a Pakistani/Azad Kashmir national. While for Ph.D scholarships, candidates must have a minimum qualification of MS/MPhil/ME or equivalent (18 years) before the closing date.
“In my view, overseas Pakistanis should not only get the voting rights but should be allowed to be members of Parliament and Senate as well. No one can understand the problems of expats better than the overseas Pakistanis themselves. Their contribution towards uplifting the country’s economy is immense. Their services should be recognised,” Hans said.
Visitors at the festival expressed their joy and surprise at being able to witness aspects of Emirati and global cultural traditions up close and in a way they hadn’t before.
The case dates back to last February, when reliable information was forwarded to the Anti-Narcotics Department at Dubai Police about a person consuming narcotics and psychotropic substances and possessing a quantity of them in his house in the Palm Island area in Dubai.
The story did not end here but developed from rape into drugs and the victim ended up at the hands of Dubai Police who referred her to the Hemaya International Centre of Dubai Police’s General Department of Anti-narcotics for rehabilitation.
Social media users and residents have called local authorities to honour Matute for his heroic act.