The man who was killed in a stabbing incident at a Winnipeg cafe Monday night was a Syrian refugee involved an Arabic theatre program for young newcomers to Canada, according to a fellow group member.
Shaden Abusaleh told Global News she knew the man, Yazan Alhorani, as well as the other victim who is recovering in hospital, Moussa Almoussa.
“One of the things I think is important in telling Yazan’s story is that this was a young man,” said Abusaleh.
“He had come to Canada to flee the Syrian crisis and the terrors that came with it, and to see what has happened to him is just so sad.
“We can’t re-tell his story as ‘a man was stabbed’. No, this was a brother, this was a son, this was a friend, and this was a member of our community.”
Abusaleh, who met both victims when they joined the Sawa Theatre troupe in 2016, said Moussa was celebrating his 19th birthday that night at Ramallah Cafe.
Although she doesn’t know his condition, she said he’s surrounded by family in hospital.
In a statement on their Facebook page, the theatre group described the late Alhorani as “an illustration of the passion, love, kindness and friendship we strive to cultivate.”
“We are honoured, humbled and deeply thankful for the opportunity we’ve been given to see Yazan, to work with him, to laugh with him, and to create lasting memories with him,” the group said in a bilingual English/Arabic post.
“We created Sawa Theatre in the hopes of providing a safe environment for our Syrian youth who fled the terrors of the Syrian crisis. We wanted to engage the kids through art, theater, music, speaking, learning and finding their voice. Last night, we lost one of our voices.”
WATCH: Witnesses to mall stabbing shocked and saddened