Honouring Those Lost in Quebec

Oshawa residents wait in the snowy night for their turn to step inside the Oshawa Islamic Centre. The mosque held a prayer and vigil on January 31 for the victims of the Quebec City mosque attacks.
Oshawa residents wait in the snowy night for their turn to step inside the Oshawa Islamic Centre. The mosque held a prayer and vigil on January 31 for the victims of the Quebec City mosque attacks.

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A brief glimpse at last night’s vigil for those killed in Quebec City. Words first from mayor of Oshawa John Henry and then Imam of the Oshawa Islamic Centre Shakir Pandor.

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Joel’s Journal - Entry #92 - 1/31/2017

The snow billowed around the hunched shoulders of those standing in the square outside city hall.

The night was a cold one, and yet a large group was gathered to pay their respects for those six people killed in a mosque in Quebec City, and to show solidarity with the muslim community. More than that though, it was a simple sign that banding together is stronger than pulling apart, and even in the whistling wind and pelting snow, the crowd walked the several blocks to the Oshawa Islamic Centre, mostly in silence, before filing into (and filling) the Oshawa Islamic Centre mosque.

I was there to take pictures and gather comments for a story.

For the most part, I avoid politics on this blog, because the Internet has a hard time talking about those kinds of things without turning to hate, and I just don’t have the patience for that.

All I will say is that while I was technically at the event as an unbiased observer, I may as well have been standing next to them, bowing my head as the six names of those killed were read off into the night.

Sitting on the soft carpet of the mosque and listening to the imam say his prayer, I bowed my head and took a moment of my own to send my good thoughts to all those affected in Quebec.

It was a heavy way to end the night, but also hopeful, as the residents of Oshawa of all faiths, completely filled the large mosque. It was a great thing to see.

Earlier in the day, I spent the majority of the workday in the office, putting together the first issue back after my Montreal trip. I only had a few days to work on my assignments for this paper, but I spent the majority of my day yesterday catching up.

During the afternoon, I spent a couple hours getting myself ready for the week ahead and lining up interviews before switching off the computer and heading home to grab some dinner.

I haven’t had much groceries since coming back from Montreal and the lack of eating well over the past couple days has been hitting my body particularly hard today, so I busted out the wok and threw together an oily pasta dish with tons of garlic and mushrooms.

With about an hour to spare, I took the time to work on my 2016 Photos in Review post that I’m hoping to have come out in the coming weeks. I know it’s getting a bit late for 2016 posts, but I want to share all these photos with you guys and I want it to be just right. So stay with me! I’ve also got my Montreal wrap in the works (complete with a brief video intro, yes, VIDEO). And I was also able to squeeze in an hour early this morning with a cup of coffee in bed to edit my manuscript.

For now though, M and I just finished watching a bit of Netflix (we just finished season 1 of Bates Motel…I’m a little bit hooked), and now we’re just getting ready to call it a night.

My eyes are starting to droop, so I’m going to grab my book and drop into bed. Tomorrow I’ve got a full day in the office and I’m looking forward to getting serious jump start and crushing out a couple early stories.

Until then, everyone, do what you love and do it well.

And remember, we’re much stronger when we come together.

Thanks for reading,

J.J.W.