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What we know about the plane crash victims with Canadian roots
TORONTO -- A Ukrainian Boeing-737 jet carrying 176 people, including 57 Canadian citizens, has crashed in Iran.
There were no survivors, according to officials.
Ukrainian International Airlines flight PS752 to Kyiv went down minutes after taking off from Tehran’s main international airport on Wednesday morning. The plane crashed into farmland outside of the capital, scattering debris across the area.
On Wednesday, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said 138 passengers on the plane were headed to Canada.
- Iran says airliner was on fire, tried to turn back
- Crashed jet was 'one of the best' in airline's fleet
- Trudeau says it's 'too early' to rule out any causes of plane crash in Iran
Here’s what we know so far about the victims who were either Canadian citizens, or travelling to Canada:
Four members of the Mousavi family from Edmonton were on the flight. They were: Pedram Mousavi (father), Mojgan Daneshmand (mother), Darya Mousavi (daughter) and Darina Mousavi (daughter).
Pedram Mousavi and Mojgan Daneshmand were engineering professors at the University of Alberta. The flight’s manifest lists the daughters’ birth years as 2010 for Darina and 2005 for Darya.
Payman Parseyan, a member of Edmonton’s Iranian community, says many Iranians fly back to the country over the holidays to visit family. "As soon as we heard about the plane going down, I immediately thought that this is a flight that’s leaving the country," he told CTV News Edmonton.
Mohammad Abdolrazzaghi, Mojgan Daneshmand’s research assistant at the university for the past five years, said he and his colleagues gathered together to mourn her death on Wednesday.
“I found her incredibly supportive in many events when it comes to ups and downs of the research we’ve been going through and she would always be there to back us up,” he told CTV’s Your Morning on Thursday.
Abdolrazzaghi said Daneshmand had taken three weeks off to go to Iran to visit family over the holidays.
“We absolutely remember her as one of the most supportive academic figures in our lifetime who helped us push to our limits in all of the research and scientific endeavors that we have gone through,” he said.
“Nobody is going to forget all of her help to the university and the research of the university over the past 12 years,” he said.
Azhdari was born in 1983 and was a PhD student at the University of Guelph. A statement from the university said she was on her way back to Guelph after visiting her family in Iran over the December break. "In addition to her scholarly work, Ghanimat was a proud member of the Qashaqi tribe in Iran and a powerful and passionate young leader, at the international level, in advancing the rights of Indigenous Peoples," reads the statement from the university's department of geography, environment and geomatics.
She was also a member of the ICAA Consortium, a global organization promoting recognition of Indigenous Peoples' and Community Conserved Areas and Territories.
MILAD GHASEMI ARIANI
Ariani was a PhD student at the University of Guelph’s department of marketing and consumer studies. In a statement, the university said Ariani was returning to Guelph from visiting Iran.
“We are deeply saddened to hear of the tragic loss of two of our students,” said University of Guelph president Franco Vaccarino. “Our thoughts go out to the families of these two students and to anyone else affected by this tragedy.”
BEHNAZ KHOEI EBRAHIMI AND RAHMTIN AHMADI
Behnaz Khoei Ebrahimi worked for the Municipal Property Assessment Corporation in Toronto. Her son, Rahmtin Ahmadi, was also on the flight. Ahmadi's birth year is listed on the manifest as 2010.
Elca Tere, one of Ebrahimi’s colleagues who worked with her for seven years, described her as hardworking and helpful.
“I’m lucky that I worked and had the chance to know her,” Tere told CTV Toronto on Thursday.
Ebrahimi had travelled to Iran with her nine-year-old son Rahmtin Ahmadi, a Grade 4 student at Muirhead Public School, for a vacation. Tere said Ebrahimi taught her colleagues about Iranian culture in the office.
“Her smile and personality will never fade from my memory.”
NASER POURSHABANOSHIBI AND FIROUZEH MADANI
Both medical doctors, this couple from North Vancouver was in Iran for the holidays, visiting Naser’s family. They are survived by their 19-year-old daughter, Kimia, who returned from Iran earlier in the week to prepare for classes.
“I feel sad for the dreams that my parents had but couldn't achieve it, their time was cut short,” Kimia told CTV News Vancouver on Wednesday.
Kimia described her father as an “inquisitive” person.
“He loved research. He loved reading. He taught me how to read at three years old. He thought it was the best thing he could give me, the best gift,” she said.
When she was asked about what she will miss most about her mother, Kimia fought back tears.
“I will miss the open conversations with my mom,” she said. “We were very close. She was very open and we discussed a lot.”
SHEKOUFEH CHOUPANNEJAD AND DAUGHTERS SABA AND SARA SAADAT
Choupannejad was an obstetrician-gynecologist in Edmonton. Staff at the north end clinic she worked at confirmed her identity to CTV News.
Shayesteh Majdnia, a past president of the Iranian Heritage Society of Edmonton, told CTV News Edmonton she was close friends with Choupannejad, who died in the crash along with her two daughters, Saba Saadat and Sara Saadat. Saba (below left) and Sara were both students at the University of Alberta.
Khadem worked at non-profit research organization Mitacs, in Winnipeg. Mitacs confirmed in a statement that she has been working as a business development specialist since 2016, "and had been a passionate supporter of innovation in Manitoba ever since."
Mitacs' Chief Business Development Officer Eric Bosco added: "We will remember Forough’s passion for Mitacs, enthusiasm for innovation in Manitoba, and her positive outlook on life. We will miss her humour, her kindness, and her warm spirit."
Khadem graduated from the University of Manitoba with a PhD.
Jude Uzonna, a friend and Forough’s PhD supervisor, described her as an “amazing” individual.
“Forough was somebody who cared for humanity,” he told CTV’s Your Morning on Thursday. “[She] would just make sure that you are comfortable.”
Uzonna said Khadem called him on New Year’s Day to wish him a happy new year’s and she told him she was concerned about the escalating tensions between Iran and the U.S.
“She told me she was coming back on Tuesday night, but she told me she was a little bit worried,” he said.
On Tuesday, Uzonna said he received a text message from her that said she was on her way home to Canada.
“That was it. I never got to see Forough again,” he said.
Uzonna said he will remember Khadem as someone who is really “strong, very affable, very collegial” with an “infectious optimism.”
Tarbhai was an administrative clerk for the Ontario Secondary School Teachers Federation. "She was respected and well-liked by all. Her passing represents a profound loss for all of us who worked with her," reads a statement by the federation.
Alina’s mother Afifa was also on the flight.
This family of three from Metro Vancouver was among the victims, a friend of the family confirmed with CTV News. They were: Ardalan Ebnoddin Hamidi (father), Niloufar Ebrahim (mother) and Kamyar Ebnoddin Hamidi (son).
Ebnoddin-Hamidi was an engineer and his wife was a teacher. Richard Stewart, Coquitlam’s mayor, knew the family.
“They were really passionate about democracy. They organized all-candidates meetings during election campaigns, they organized festivals. They were there in every facet of Coquitlam life,” he recalled.
SIAVASH GHAFOURI-AZAR AND SARA MAMANI
This couple from Montreal was in Iran for their wedding ceremony, CTV News Montreal reported. They were both former engineering students at Concordia University. Mamani worked at Bombardier while Ghafour-Azar worked at Pratt & Whitney.
Reza Ghafouri, the uncle of Ghafouri-Azar, told CTV Montreal during a candlelight vigil outside Concordia University that he and his family are still in shock.
“It is devastating and so unfortunate for me and my family; young, newlywed, a couple gone forever,” he said.
“I cannot come up with the words to describe my kind, dedicated nephew. He was a very positive and passionate person, from childhood until his soul departed from his body. Rest in peace, my dearest, next to your beloved wife.”
Ali Dolatabadi, one of Ghafouri-Azar’s thesis supervisors, said his friend had just bought a home in Montreal before the holidays.
“He told me he bought a house in Brossard with his fiancee and he was going to invite me for a housewarming party,” he said.
Roxanne Dayyani, a friend of Mamani’s, said she was planning a party to celebrate her wedding.
“I just spoke to Sara last week and she was supposed to come to our home next week. I can't believe what’s happened,” she said.
Mandieh Ghavi, the youngest of the two sisters, was about to attend university in Halifax, while older sister Mansoumeh was an engineering student working on her master's degree at Dalhousie.
Ali Nafarieh, a Dalhousie professor, told CTV News Atlantic that Mansoumeh was "one of the top students" there. He commended her "skills and knowledge and experience" that she brought to an IT firm he also runs, and where she worked part time.
FAREED ARASTEH AND MANSOUR POURJAM
Arasteh was a PhD student in biology and Pourjam was a biology alumnus at Carleton University in Ottawa.
“Our thoughts are with Fareed’s and Mansour’s families, friends and colleagues at this difficult time, and with everyone who has suffered loss in this terrible tragedy,” said Carleton President Benoit-Antoine Bacon in a statement. “Campus flags have been lowered to half-mast to honour Fareed Arasteh, Mansour Pourjam, and all of the victims.”
Dr. Kevin Manesh, a friend of Pourjam’s, described him to CTV News Ottawa as “very kind, very helpful.” Manesh said Pourjam was always there for people who needed help.
Zibaie was a grade 10 student who attended Northern Secondary School in Toronto. School principal Adam Marshall confirmed in a statement that Zibaie passed away yesterday following the crash.
“Maya was kind, happy and well-liked by her peers,” said Marshall. “She was new to Canada, enjoyed attending high school and often shared with staff how excited she was about her future and reaching her academic goals.”
IMAN AND PARINAZ GHADERPANAH
CTV News confirmed this Toronto couple was among the crash victims. Iman worked as a mortgage agent while his wife, Parinaz, worked at RBC.
Faghihi was a dentist in Halifax and an alumnus of the Dalhousie Dental School.
LJ Turnbull, a regional manager for Dentalcorp., described Faghihi as an “absolute joy” and “one of the kindest human beings.”
“She had a fantastic sense of humour and she was great with the patients... She was friends with everybody on the team,” Turnbull told The Canadian Press.
A profile for her on the Dalhousie website said she was married with two children.
Dentist Ebrahim Kiani, who worked with Faghihi, said he first met her 25 years ago when she was the head of the periodontics department at the Shiraz University of Medical Science in Iran.
“She was very kind, very generous with her knowledge and very skilled,” he said. “She was published in many journals... She was a good mentor for me.”
ARVIN MORATTAB AND AIDA FARZANEH
Morattab was a student at Montreal's Ecole de technologie superireure, and was active in the local Iranian community, reported CTV News Montreal.
Farzaneh was a doctoral student and lecturer in the department of Construction Engineering.
Arvin Morattab’s twin brother, Armin, said they moved to Canada in 2011 to pursue their dreams in engineering.
“He had a beautiful life with Aida, his wife,” he said. “She was a very smart girl. She was hardworking, very kind, very lovable.”
IMAN AGHABALI AND MEHDI ESHAGHIAN
Aghabali and Eshaghian were both PhD students in the faculty of engineering at McMaster university in Hamilton.
"McMaster is a tightly knit community and there will be many faculty, staff, colleagues, friends and fellow students who need our support and caring at this tragic time," said McMaster president David Farrar in a statement.
MOHAMMAD ASADI-LARI AND ZEYNAB ASADI-LARI
Mohammad Asadi-Lari, 23, and his sister Zeynab were former students at the University of British Columbia.
Asadi-Lari grew up in the U.K. and Iran, but settled in Canada six years ago. He joined Canadian Commission for UNESCO as a youth advisor in December 2016.
“Mohammad was an incredible human being who worked tirelessly to advocate for peace, inclusive STEM education, equitable and just global health, meaningful youth engagement and social entrepreneurship and innovation,” CCUNESCO wrote in a statement.
Zeynab is a former biology student at UBC.
MARZIEH FOROUTAN AND MANSOUR ESNAASHARY ESFAHANI
Marzieh Foroutan and Mansour Esnaashary Esfahani were both PhD students at the University of Waterloo.
Foroutan studied geography, while Esfahani studied civil engineering.
“Everyone at Waterloo is shocked and saddened to learn of the death of Mari Foroutan and Mansour Esfahani,” said University of Waterloo President Feridun Hamdullahpur. “Our hearts ache for them, their friends and family with whom we all mourn together.”
Nastaran Saberi, a classmate of Foroutan’s, described her friend as “really hard-working” and “very nice with everyone.”
“She was a little bit shy in a nice, good way,” Saberi said.
University of Waterloo PhD supervisor Carl Hass said the death of his student, Esfahani, was a “huge shock” that was still difficult to process.
“The grief hits you in waves,” he said.
Hass said Esfahani was working on a number of projects with different students and they all enjoyed working with him.
“He was a sweet guy, very enthusiastic. He was very happy to be here,” said Hass. “He was really a hard worker he was a fine scholar and a great person and a really fine engineer too.”
Arshia Arbabbahrami was a Grade 12 student at Western Canada High School in Calgary who was a member of both the track and swim teams and had planned to be a doctor.
He was returning to Canada after spending the holidays with his family in Iran.
“Arshia was a valued member of our school community,” the school wrote in a statement. “Our collective thoughts are with Arshia’s family and friends, both in Iran as well as in Canada."
Mojtaba Abbasnezhad was a PhD student at the University of Toronto.
Pooya Poolad, PhD candidate in the department of Electrical and Computer Engineering called Abbasnezhad “one of the most talented and intelligent guys I knew.”
Arad Zarei was an 18-year-old student from the Greater Toronto Area who was visiting Iran over the holidays to spend time with his mother in Shiraz.
The York Regional District School Board confirmed a number of its students died in the crash, but did not identify any individuals.
FOUR STUDENTS FROM WESTERN UNIVERSITY
Four students from Western University are among the people who died in the crash, the school has confirmed.
Western did not identify the students, but CTV News has learned they are Hadis Hayatdavoudi, Milad Nahavandi, Ghazal Nourian, and Sajedeh Saraeian.
Three of the students were graduate students, while the fourth was an incoming graduate student.
Hayatdavoudi was a PhD student at the Electrochemistry and Corrosion Science Centre, Nahavandi was a PhD student at the Industrial Bioproduct Lab, and Nourian was a PhD student in the nanophotonic energy materials group. Saraeian was an incoming Masters of Science student in chemical engineering.
Tara Amiri, Nourian’s best friend, told CTV News London she spoke to her a few hours before she boarded the flight.
“While she was packing her stuff she called me and we talked a little bit. And last night when I heard about a plane, I didn't know what one she was in. Then I was like, oh my God,” she said.
The school hosted a community gathering in honour of the students on Wednesday evening.
Professor Sorhab Robani, a supervisor for Nahavandi, attended the vigil and shared that his student had returned home to Iran to tell his family some exciting news.
“He had managed to get visas for his parents to come, for the first time, to come and visit in the summer,” he said.
Mohammad Sadeghi, his wife Bahareh Hajesfandaniari and daughter Anisa Sadeghi were from Winnipeg.
A neighbour of the family, Behnam Soltani, told CTV News Winnipeg the three had travelled to Iran for the first time in four years, to visit their family over the holidays.
"They were a really nice family, a caring family," Soltani told CTV News. "Not just me, everybody who know them – they are in shock. We can't even believe it."
PARISA EGHBALIAN AND REERA ESMAEILION
Parisa Eghbalian is a dentist who worked in Guelph, Ont. and Aurora, Ont. She and her nine-year-old daughter Reera Esmaeilion were both on the plane.
In a statement posted on Facebook, Guelph Dawson Dental office confirmed she and her daughter died in the plane crash.
“It is with heavy hearts that we share the passing of Dr. Parisa Eghbalian and her daughter, Reera Esmaeilion, on Ukrainian Airlines flight 752 out of Tehran,” the statement read.
Guelph Mayor Cam Guthrie said the city is “heartbroken” by the tragedy.
“Our prayers, our thoughts and our compassion is sent to all impacted by this loss," he wrote in a tweet on Thursday evening.
Neda Sadighi was an optometrist and eye surgeon from Richmond Hill, Ont. CTV News Toronto has confirmed she died in the crash. Colleagues said she had travelled to Iran before Christmas to visit family and was scheduled to return to work Thursday.
Suzan Golbabapour was a real estate agent and fitness trainer in Richmond Hill, Ont. Colleagues told CTV News Toronto they'll remember her most for her positive energy.
ARASH POURZARABI AND POUNEH GORJI
Arash Pourzarabi and Pouneh Gorji, newlyweds from Edmonton, were just married last week. Friends of the couple told CTV News Edmonton the couple had been in Tehran to get married.
"They were basically the kindest souls that I know, honestly," said friend Amir Forouzandeh. "If you met them even once you could tell that these two belong together for sure."
Nasim Rahmanifar was a master's student at the University of Alberta engineering program. Her friend Sina Esfandiarpour told media that Nasim was excited to surpise her mom back in Iran. Prof. Hossein Rouhani, one of Nasim's supervisors, called her an "outstanding student" who planned to complete her PhD when she returned to Canada.
Darya Toghian was a 22-year-old student at George Brown College in Toronto.
Toghian was flying back for her second semester of school after a holiday trip with her mother.
Toghian’s mother had been scheduled to be on the flight as well, but cancelled her ticket at the last minute.
SAHAND HATEFI MOSTAGHIM AND SHAHAB RAANA
Sahand Hatefi Mostaghim is from Montreal and was visiting Iran for his wedding last week.
Shahab Raana is Mostaghim’s best friend who made the trip with him for the marriage.
The photo was taken just minutes before the plane departed.
Fereshteh Maleki was visiting Tehran for her daughter’s wedding.
AYESHA POURGHARDERI AND FATIMEH PASAVAND
Ayesha Pourgharderi and her daughter Fatimeh Pasavand are from North Vancouver. They helped run the Amir Bakery in North Vancouver.
Amir Pasavand stayed home to run the business while his wife and daughter visited Iran. CTV News Vancouver reported that the mother and daughter were expected to take a citizenship exam a few days after their deaths.
Pasavand was a Grade 12 student at Carson Graham Secondary School.
Homa Ghazi, a friend of the family, collapsed outside of the bakery on Wednesday after learning the news.
“They are very good family, they open their store, I went to her house,” she sobbed. “They are very good.”
DANIEL (MOHAMMED) SAKAT AND FATEMAH KAZERANI
Daniel (Mohammed) Sakat and Fatemah Kazerani are a married couple from Coquitlam, B.C. He was an engineer and she worked as a dental hygienist.
ALMA OLADI, SAEED KASHANI AND MEHRABAN BADIEI
Alma Oladi, Saeed Kashani and Mehraban Badiei are students from the University of Ottawa.
A makeshift memorial with flowers and cards appeared on Oladi’s desk as news of her death spread. The PhD student in the university’s mathematics and statistics department was described as “kind-hearted” and “full of life.”
Badiei, originally from Tehran, had attended school in Toronto before she became an undergraduate at the University of Ottawa, studying health sciences. Kashani was a PhD student studying chemical engineering.
Ali Pey (middle) is shown surrounded by his wife and four daughters (who were not on the flight).
Friends described Pey, 48, as a generous person and doting father who adored his four children. The Ottawa-based family man was also the founder and CEO of Message Hopper, a tech company that allows businesses to text customers via SMS.
Dr. Kevin Manesh, a friend of Pey’s, called the tragedy “heartbreaking” and “devastating.” He told CTV News Ottawa that those who knew him are in shock right now.
Manesh said Pey travelled to Tehran to visit his sick father.
“He was there whenever you needed him,” Manesh said of his friend. “I cannot imagine his face without a smile.”
Pey wasn’t the only friend Manesh lost in the plane crash. He said he knew two others who died, including Roja Azadian and Mansour Pourjam.
Roja Azadian (left) is shown with her husband (who was not on the flight)
Azadian had travelled to Iran with her husband, according to friends. Dr. Kevin Manesh, a friend of Azadian’s, said her husband couldn’t board the return flight back to Canada due to a ticket mix-up so she went ahead on her own.
“He thought ‘OK, I’m sending my wife home and then I will join you later,’ and unfortunately that’s not [going to] happen,” Manesh told CTV News Ottawa.
Azadian’s husband remains in Tehran, according to friends.
Ghassemi was visiting family in Iran before he boarded the flight to Kyiv. He was a graduate student in biomedical engineering at the University of Manitoba.
Amir Shirzadi, a member of the board with the university’s student association, told The Canadian Press that he saw his friend Ghassemi before he left for Iran.
“I can't use past tense. I think he’s coming back. We play again. We talk again. It’s too difficult to use past tense, too difficult. No one can believe it,” he said.
A friend of Hajiaghavand confirmed that she was among those killed in the crash. Aida Tabesh told CTV News Toronto that Hajiaghavand, a human resources student at York University, went to Iran to visit her family. “She was a loving soul who was gone too soon,” said Tabesh.
Photo courtesy: family friend Babak Bayat
Moradi was a Queen's University student enrolled in the faculty of arts and science. "We offer our condolences to Amir's family and friends and to all the members of our community mourning loved ones and colleagues,” says Queen's Principal and Vice-Chancellor Patrick Deane in a statement. The Queen's Journal reported Moradi was in his third year.
SAHARNAZ HAGHJOO AND HER DAUGHTER, ELSA
Before boarding the plane, Saharnaz Haghjoo and her daughter, Elsa, snapped a selfie and sent it to her father, along with a text message.
“She texts me … “Dad, it looks like there is a technical problem,” Habib Haghjoo told CTV News.
The plane was delayed. A short while later, he received another text message.
“Okay daddy, it’s good … we are taking off,” Haghjoo recalled. “Usually after that I would be relaxed. But, I don’t know, for some reason I started to track the flight.”
But the system he was using wouldn’t allow him to track the plane. Less than four minutes after takeoff, the plane crashed in a field outside Tehran.
Now, Haghjoo has sent his son-in-law a piece of his hair to take back to Iran. He hopes thepiece of DNA will help identify his daughter’s body and bring her home.
He also wants answers.
“I deserve to know. All of us, we deserve to know what happened to our beloved ones and bring them here.”
Kiana Ghasemi was messaging her cousin, Dorsa Ghasemi, before the plane took off. They had both learned through the news that Iran had launched multiple missiles at a U.S. airbase in Iraq.
“I messaged her and said hurry up, run away,” she said. “And she said, ‘Yeah, I’m going to miss the missiles and come and see you.”
MARYAM MALEK AND FATEMEH MAHMOODI
Maryam Malek and Fatemeh Mahmoodi were both students in the master of finance program at Saint Mary's University in Halifax, N.S.
"Fatima and Maryam were my classmates and my friends -- my close friends as well," said Varan Agrawal. "It should not happen like this. They were very innocent and it shouldn't be like this."
They were both on their way back from a holiday vacation in which they celebrated the end of their first semester in the finance program.
Malek was in her 40s, while Mahmoodi was in her 30s. Both women spoke three languages.
Classes were cancelled last Thursday so students in the finance program could mourn the loss of their classmates while flags at the school were flown at half-mast.
MOHAMMAD SALEHE AND ZAHRA HASANI
The University of Toronto confirmed that Mohammad Salehe is among the six of their students on the flight. He was studying for a PhD in computer science.
Zahra Hasani was Salehe’s wife.
RAZGAR RAHIMI, FARIDEH GHOLAMI AND JIWAN RAHIMI
Dr. Razgar Rahimi, a faculty member of Centennial College’s School of Engineering Technology and Applied Science, was killed on the flight, along with his wife Farideh Gholami and their three-year-old son Jiwan.
Gholami was also seven-months pregnant and had already decorated a room for the baby.
Rahimi had a PhD in electrical and computer engineering from Ontario Tech University.
Pedram Jadidi, a civil engineering student at the University of Windsor, was visiting Iran to mark the one year since his father’s death.
Jadidi was described as a promising young scientist and a strong student.
Zahra Naghibi was a member of the University of Windsor’s Turbulence and Energy Lab, where she focused on solar energy.
Naghibi is described as “helpful and warm” and someone always willing to lend a hand.
"Zahra was giving her advice, helping her out, letting her learn from her own work and what she'd discovered -- helping her along, the next generation of researchers,” Jacqueline Stagner, one of Naghibi’s colleagues, recalled to The Canadian Press. “She was very welcoming.”
HAMIDREZA SETAREH KOKAB AND SAMIRA BASHIRI
Hamidreza Setareh Kokab, 31, and Samira Bashiri, 29, built a life together in Windsor after falling in love as teenagers in Iran.
They were in Iran for a month-long visit with family.
Setareh was working on his PhD in engineering at the University of Windsor while operating a dog grooming business on the side. Bashiri worked in a medical lab.
The two learned English by watching the TV show “Friends.”
After operating a dental practice in Iran for 15 years, Farhad Niknam moved to Winnipeg with his family.
About three years ago, the family moved to Toronto, where he registered to be a dentist and trained other foreign dentists.
He is survived by his wife, Mojgan, and their two children, Yana and Yuna.
GHANIMAT AZDAHRI AND MILAD GHASEMI ARIANI
The University of Guelph identified two victims as PhD students Ghanimat Azdahri and Milad Ghasemi Ariani.
Azdahri worked with the ICCA Consortium, which helps Indigenous communities preserve land that supports traditional lifestyles, and spent time working with some of the nomadic tribes in Iran.
AMIRHOSSEIN BAHABADI GHORBANI
Amirhossein Bahabadi Ghorbani was a student in the University of Manitoba and spent 20 days in Iran before his flight back to Canada.
Friends said he always studied hard with the goal of one day helping out his family back in Iran.
Ayda Mohammadian, Bahabadi’s girlfriend, said during the vigil that she worried about him.
"I remember five hours before his flight from Winnipeg, I hugged him. I was crying. I told him I feel if you go, I'm going to lose you," she said. "I never thought this could happen."
FARZANEH NADERI AND NOOJAN SADR
Farzaneh Naderi is described as a great cook for her family, including her 11-year-old son Noojan Sadr.
Naderi worked as a tutor for children with autism at St. Amant, a not-for-profit foundation in Manitoba. She had volunteered at the facility for three years prior to earning the job.
Sadr loved soccer and video games.
Naderi’s extended family started the Sadr Family Memorial Fund to support Naderi’s husband, Abolfazl Sadr.
Elnaz Nabiyi was a student at the University of Alberta School of Business.
Her friend, Maryam Zakeri, said Nabiyi was successful at nearly everything she tried.
"She set an example of courage and compassion, hoping to inspire anyone who knew her," she told The Canadian Press. "Anyone knowing her was aware she was a warm-hearted and loving person.”
Amir Hossein Saeedinia, 26, was a PhD student in the mechanical engineering department at the University of Alberta.
Saeedinia had a degree in petroleum engineering and a master’s degree in mechanical engineering from an Iranian university.
He was studying to make better coatings for the oil and gas industry.
Kasra Saati travelled to Iran over the holidays for a reunion with his wife and two children, who did not board the flight back to Canada.
Saati worked as an engineer for Viking Air. His former employer said Saati was a "valued member of the Quality Team" at the company's Calgary facility.
Mohammed Mahdi Elyasi completed a masters in mechanical engineering at the University of Alberta and moved to Toronto to continue his study at the University of Toronto's Institute of Aerospace Science.
Mehran Abtahi, 37, had gone to Iran to visit his wife over the holidays.
He had just started a job at the University of British Columbia as a post-doctoral research fellow in the department of civil engineering.
Delaram Dadashnejad, 26, was a nutrition student at Langara College in Vancouver.
She had gone home for the holidays and was originally supposed to fly home a day earlier, but a passport issue forced her to delay her trip.
She loved yoga and spending time outdoors.
Roja Omidbakhsh, a 23-year-old student at the University of Victoria, went to Iran to be with her family during Christmas.
She was registered in the Gustavson School of Business and lived in the campus residences.
Mobina Rafiepour, a student who shared residences with Omidbakhsh, described her as a “really good friend.”
FOUR YOUNG STUDENTS IN TORONTO
The Toronto District School Board confirmed several of their students were passengers on the flight.
Among them are: Senior kindergarten student Sophie Emami, Grade 6 student Arsam Niazi, Grade 3 student Arnica Niazi and Grade 3 student Shahzad Eghbali.
"On behalf of the Toronto District School Board, we offer our sincere condolences to their friends, family, teachers and classmates," the school board wrote in a statement.
MOHSEN SALAHI AND MAHSA AMIRLIRAVI
Mohsen Salahi and Mahsa Amirliravi were both instructors at Cestar College in Toronto.
"Mohsen and Mahsa have been part of our Cestar College faculty team for three years in the QEMT, CPMT, and LAQT programs," Cestar College director Michael Vourkes said in a statement on Thursday.
"Mohsen and Mahsa were fantastic teachers, touching countless students’ lives during their time here at the college. But they were also tremendous individuals, forming strong bonds with many staff and faculty, and they will be greatly missed by fellow instructors, the academics team, and the college as a whole."
Bahareh Karami worked for the York Region, where the council described her passing as "heart-breaking".
“We are so shocked and extremely saddened by this tragedy,” York Region Chairman and CEO Wayne Emmerson said. “Our prayers are with Bahareh’s family, friends and colleagues, and for everyone that may be impacted in any way by this horrific event.”
With files from the Canadian Press