‘I’m dying to see them:’ Toronto man who lost family in plane shot down by Iranian forces

7 months ago 104

Habib Haghjoo cannot look astatine the lone 2 photographs successful his surviving country astatine his eastbound Toronto home. But helium cannot bring himself to instrumentality them down.

Nothing other hangs connected the walls successful that country of his impeccably cleanable home.

The photographs amusement his daughter, Saharnaz Haghjoo, 37, and his eight-year-old granddaughter, Elsa Jadidi, smiling broadly arsenic they embrace.

The brace were aboard a Ukrainian International Airlines formation that was changeable down by Iranian forces 2 years ago, connected Jan. 8, 2020. More than 100 of the 176 radical killed successful the clang had ties to Canada.

 'Mother, girl  buried successful  Canada aft  being killed successful  Iran level   crash' 1:43 Mother, girl buried successful Canada aft being killed successful Iran level crash

Mother, girl buried successful Canada aft being killed successful Iran level clang – Jan 26, 2020

Habib Haghjoo says helium feels stuck successful time, hoping helium tin person conscionable 1 much infinitesimal with his girls, arsenic helium calls them.

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“I’m dying to spot them,” helium says, tears falling from his eyes arsenic helium grips an bare cupful of tea. “If I look astatine the picture, oregon bring immoderate representation to my mind, it starts to wounded deep.”

READ MORE: ‘My bosom is going to bleed,’ says Ontario antheral who mislaid daughter, granddaughter successful level tragedy

The 65-year-old cannot ticker videos of them oregon leafage done aged pictures, saying to bash truthful would wounded excessively much.

Family, friends and strangers sent him photographs of his girl and granddaughter aft their deaths. After a portion helium tossed them each but for the 2 that remain.

“Maybe 1 time I volition enactment them away, but not close now,” helium says.

He’s inactive stuck successful the throes of his grief.

“I americium stuck successful the choler stage, I americium conscionable truthful angry,” helium says. “The authorities murdered them, murdered them successful the worst imaginable way.”

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 '$107M determination  for Iran level   clang  victim’s families ‘precedent setting,’ lawyer   says' 2:09 $107M determination for Iran level clang victim’s families ‘precedent setting,’ lawyer says

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Lately, he’s besides been stuck wrong his home. Ontario’s latest circular of pandemic restrictions has near him without entree to his beloved excavation astatine the section YMCA. The workout helped him successful the contiguous aftermath of the tragedy, helium says.

“I was crying and swimming… it helped a lot,” Haghjoo says. “Then the pandemic came and unopen everything down.”

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Two years later, the excavation is closed again. He’s mislaid the lone mode helium tin truly workout with his atrocious back. And helium mislaid the assemblage there, helium says.

“It’s tough,” helium says.

READ MORE: Federal authorities mounting up assistance programme to honour victims of level changeable down by Iran

Haghjoo, a machine programmer, near Iran successful 1987 for Ireland. One day, portion waiting for a meeting, helium visited the Canadian Embassy.

He work a transcript of the Charter of Rights and Freedoms and fell successful love. After 4 years successful Ireland, he, his woman and his 4 daughters near for Canada. They settled successful Richmond Hill, Ont.

He landed successful the mediate of a recession and it was hard to find enactment successful his field, truthful helium took a occupation astatine a car dealership.

In 1997, his wife, Shahnaz, died of a uncommon lawsuit of meningitis astatine 37, the aforesaid property his girl was erstwhile she died.

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“I tried to beryllium the champion begetter and the champion parent I could be,” helium says.

By 2009, exhausted from his occupation astatine the car dealership, helium near and became a existent property agent, which afforded him much flexible hours.

He hasn’t worked since the level crash. He says helium isn’t ready.

“I’m not rich, but I tin wage my bills,” helium says.

He’s depressed and anxious. He forgets what helium was saying. He eats little.

But helium has managed a fewer things successful the past 2 years. He and Siamak Jadidi, Saharnaz’s husband, helped physique an simple schoolhouse successful Elsa’s sanction successful a mediocre portion of Iran, successful Lorestan province.

READ MORE: ‘We are looking for the truth’: Ontario begetter of Iran level calamity unfortunate seeks answers, 1 twelvemonth later

“I judge erstwhile radical are educated, they won’t get fooled by rulers and taken vantage of,” helium says.”`Building a schoolhouse and educating children, that’s what volition triumph eventually. That is however I volition get revenge.”

He besides helps construe quality articles to English for a website started by different household who mislaid loved ones successful the tragedy. The site, Rissmaan.com, highlights quality rights abuses successful Iran.

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Haghjoo utilized to practise Islam but gave up religion. He visited his girl and granddaughter’s graves doubly aft the level clang but past stopped going. This past summer, however, helium recovered himself drawn backmost to the cemetery and has since visited a fistful of times.

“When I decorativeness my visit, I cannot unfastened my eyes due to the fact that I’m crying truthful much,” helium says, “but it does help, it does.”

Habib Haghjoo is photographed astatine his Toronto location connected Tuesday, January 4, 2022. The erstwhile machine programmer mislaid his girl Sahar Haghjoo and her eight-year-old girl Elsa Jadidi successful the 2020 downing of Ukraine International Airlines formation PS752 by Iranian forces. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chris Young

Two years aft the tragedy, Haghjoo says helium tries to absorption connected his household — helium has 4 daughters and 8 grandchildren, he’ll ne'er halt counting Saharnaz and Elsa among them, helium says.

His spouse of 15 years is besides a tremendous help.

And helium tries to absorption connected the bully memories of his girl and granddaughter.

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“Saharnaz was my small one, she was precise small, precise petite, she was similar a tiny capsicum that’s precise hot, she was precise active,” helium says. His girl worked arsenic a programme manager astatine the YWCA, helping caller migrant women set to the country.

“And Elsa, she was a helper conscionable similar her mom, she was going to beryllium a fierce, beardown woman.”

He smiles astatine those memories.

Then his look changes.

“Sometimes I consciousness my girl hugging me,” Haghjoo says, his dependable catching. “I tin consciousness her squeezing me, hugging me. The bully memories are besides sometimes precise painful.”

Habib Haghjoo is photographed astatine his Toronto location connected Tuesday, January 4, 2022. The erstwhile machine programmer mislaid his girl Sahar Haghjoo and her eight-year-old girl Elsa Jadidi successful the 2020 downing of Ukraine International Airlines formation PS752 by Iranian forces. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chris Young

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