Canadian university announces scholarships to honor Pakistani-Canadian couple killed in racial attack
The Western University of Ontario, Canada, has announced setting up two scholarships in honor of a Pakistani Canadian couple killed along with two other family members in an attack in Ontario province on June 6. The award will help ensure the people remember how Madiha Salman and her husband Salman Afzaal embraced inclusion and valued education.
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 program within the department of civil and environmental engineering, whose research is focused on environmental engineering.
The June 6 Ontario incident claimed the lives of five Pakistani Canadians. Apart from the already mentioned couple, their 15-year-old daughter Yumna, nine-year-old son Fayez and Salman’s mother died after they were hit by a truck while walking on a West London - a city in southwest Ontario - sidewalk.
The police alleged the driver targeted them for being Muslims.
Madiha was working for her Ph.D. in environmental engineering, Dawn reported.
The university awarded Madiha a posthumous doctorate.
“As a Muslim, Madiha strongly believed in inclusivity and so this award will be open to students who advocate for the inclusion of all races and religions,” a spokesperson for her family said.
The university has also established the Sal-manAfzaal Memorial Scholarship in Physical Therapy, to be awarded each year to a full-time graduate student enrolled in a doctoral or master’s program 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.
The tragedy sparked shock, grief and anger throughout Canada and around the world.
Endorsed by the family, the scholarships will offer comfort and commemoration, said Western University President Alan Shepard.