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Events begin Tuesday to mark two year anniversary of ‘Our London Family’ tragedy

A series of events to honour the Afzaal family begins Tuesday, and lasts over the next several weeks.

With the two year anniversary of the attack on the Afzaal family around the corner, community groups remain steadfast in their resolve to stamp out Islamophobia, said London, Ont. Mayor Josh Morgan.

“And really the spirit that came out of this was a commitment to remember and continuing to combat Islamophobia in all of it forms, wherever it arises, so the events surrounding the anniversary are really important to that goal,” he said.

On June 6, 2021, the Afzaal family was out for an evening walk when they were run down by a pickup truck in what police said was a deliberate act.

Four members of the family were killed, while a nine-year-old boy survived the attack, but was orphaned.

Among the key events is the Our London Family vigil, set to take place on June 6 at 6:30 p.m. at Hyde Park Road and South Carriage Road, where the incident happened.

The event is being staged by the Youth Coalition Combatting Islamophobia. Spokesperson Sarrah Lawendy said the community as a whole has tried hard to create positive change.

Mural at the Our London Family Vigil in London, Ontario on Monday June 6, 2022 (Daryl Newcombe/CTV News London)

“This is a time and space where everyone can come together, be unified, remember what happened, honour the family,” she said. “The resilience piece is a way for people to look forward.”

Parking for the vigil is being provided at Real Canadian Superstore on Oxford Street West and Hyde Park Road, and at Lowe’s on Fanshawe Park Road and Hyde Park Road. Shuttle rides to and from the site will be provided.

Also among the events, Breaking Barriers: Confronting Islamophobia.

The speaker series includes journalist Ginella Massa, and Canada’s first representative on combatting Islamophobia, Amira Elghawaby.

Organizer Zeba Hashmi said she expects it to be a powerful session.

“Amira, she’s so accomplished in every way as an advocate for human rights, and Ginella who’s in the media sector as somebody who’s racialized Afro-Latin roots. And you know she’s in there, she’s doing her job,” she said.

Breaking Barriers: Confronting Islamophobia takes place at the London Muslim Mosque June 4 at 4 p.m.

Tributes and formal ceremonies wrap up on June 17 at Hyde Park Village Green, where the Garden of Reflection will be unveiled.

A full list of Our London Family events can be found on the City of London’s website Top Stories

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