Your Last Walk in the Mosque asks viewers 'to try to imagine what this community has gone through'
DawaNet will be hosting a free public screening of Your Last Walk in the Mosque on Thursday night in Mississauga before a 12-stop cross-country tour.
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Just weeks after the horrific shooting in Sainte-Foy, Que. last January, Tariq Syed's colleague posed a question that shook him: How many people died again?
To hear the tragedy, one of the deadliest attacks on a religious space in the country's history, reduced to a stat, and one forgotten so quickly, sparked an idea.
His idea is now a documentary, Your Last Walk In The Mosque.
After attending the funerals, meeting the families and sharing meals with victims in the days after the shooting, Syed proposed he collect their stories in a documentary film.
“I know these orphans. I know those widows," he said. "What can I do to ensure that we don’t forget them?"
Already a volunteer with DawaNet, a large Muslim community organization based in Mississauga, Syed and the filmmakers interviewed people who witnessed, were injured, and lost loved ones in the attack. For him, it's important that Canada hears directly from those involved.
"It’s painful. It’s raw… it allows us to try to imagine what this community has gone through," he said, adding it's important to hear the stories behind the TV coverage.
The film's release comes almost exactly one year after the Jan. 29 attack, which still looms large in the lives of victims.
"I can see that some of the people still have not got their smiles back,” Syed said. “This thing hasn’t gone away from them.”
He hopes the film provides a text for people to reflect on over the years. “We cannot forget it. We cannot move on from it. Six people died. The person who did is in jail. But there are 17 orphans. There are 6 widows. There is one person paralyzed and one who can’t work now.”
DawaNet is touring the film across Canada, including a stop in Toronto on Feb. 4. The 48-minute film will eventually be available for streaming online.
The first public screening is Thursday night at Mississauga's Central Library (301 Burnhamthorpe Rd. W.). The event is free and open to the public.