Local News

Raleigh community mourns victims after Iran shoots down Ukrainian plane

Posted January 12, 2020 10:08 p.m. EST

— This weekend, thousands of Iranians have gathered to protest after Iran admitted to mistakenly shooting down a Ukrainian passenger plane.

In Raleigh, hundreds in the Iranian community gathered on Fayetteville Street to pay their respects to the 176 victims.

“Many people felt so sad with this tragedy that has happened in our own home country, and we wanted to share our sorrow together,” said Nazi Ahmadi Kite of the Iranian Cultural Society of North Carolina.

Kite said she struggles to understand the loss.

“Unfortunately, we have no control over any of that,” she said. “But as a community here, many of us have lived and came to the United States. This is our home now.

On Sunday night, somber songs filled the air for lives that Reza Jafari says were taken too soon.

“Personally, I feel like that was me,” Jafari said. “We have family back home. We travel home every year for visits.

Among the dead is Bahareh Kamari, who earned her master’s degree in environmental engineering from North Carolina State University in 2012.

Kite says others in the Raleigh area had family members on the plane, including one man whose nephew was on the plane. His nephew’s wife, who was pregnant, was also on the plane, Kite said.

Mourners found comfort in knowing each victim made a powerful impact.

“They were Iranian-born that left their country to continue their education, to make a better life for themselves and their families,” Kite said.

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