Ukraine International Airlines Flight 752 (January 8, 2020)

Here is the full speech and the poem I shared at the celebration of life event in North Vancouver yesterday. I was humble and honored to be asked to speak and share my poem.


Before I begin, I wish to acknowledge that we are gathered on the unceded and un-surrendered sacred land of the Musqueam xʷməθkʷəjˀəm, Tsleil-Waututh səl̓ilwətaɁɬ and  Squamish Sḵwx̱wú7mesh Úxwumixw Nations. This is the ancestral land of the Coast Salish People.

Good evening to you all.

Please do forgive me because I won’t thank you for being here this evening; instead, I want to say —and say it from the deepest part of my heart and soul that I am so sorry that you and I have to gather here today. 

This tragedy, this crime against humanity, this ‘mistake,’ this deliberate disregard for life should have never happened. 

This was avoidable! 

This was a massive and devastating blow to peace on this planet! 

The damage, the harm, and the far-reaching trauma that will ensue for decades and for generations to come must never be allowed to happen to anyone anywhere, ever! 

The painful ripple effect of what was done to all 176 passengers and crew of Ukraine International Airlines Flight PS752 on January 8, 2020, is reaching the farthest places on this earth. For each soul lost, hundreds and hundreds of people are hurting, and as we witness them suffer, we suffer too. 

We lost great minds; we lost future prominent leaders, researchers, journalists, professors, and doctors. 

We lost teachers, artists, students, and flight attendants. 

We lost wives, husbands, moms, dads, sisters, brothers, and even a precious one-year-old Kurdish girl, Kurdia Molani. Lives perished, families broken, humanity reeling, and a hopeful future went with a single press of a button. 

We gather and mourn this tragedy of that flight that was scheduled international passenger flight from Tehran to Kiev that fateful day. It was shot down shortly after takeoff from Tehran Imam Khomeini International Airport

Attributing this crime to ‘human error’ by The Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps of Iran is unacceptable, and for Iranian President Hassan Rouhani, who denied it, then later describe it ‘unforgivable mistake’ won’t cut it either. 

We will forever honor the lives that were cut short. We demand that the families be supported, access granted to surviving relatives, and we want the victims to remain a symbolic figure for all nations to never, ever let such crime to happen again.

May those we lost, rest in peace, may each family member and all who knew those we lost, find comfort, and take all the time needed to grieve the terrible loss. 

May we as one, as witnesses to what was done to those families, remain united in love, support, openness, giving, and never allow hope to be lost. 

Allow us to become more united and more connected —now more than ever, in harmony, compassion, empathy, peace, and, most importantly, with love because love can heal all wounds.


My Family

~by Lozan Yamolky 

Ukraine International Airlines Flight 752 was shot down by Iranian missile shortly after takeoff on January 8th, 2020 killing all 176 passengers including 57 Canadian citizens. Two of those that we lost were, Snoor Pourghaderi & Serveh Pasavand. May they all rest in peace and may their loved one and all who knew them, find peace, comfort and healing. I wrote this pome from the point of view of Amir, the father and husband of two we lost in our Kurdish community in Canada.

I am not broken;

I am shattered. 

I am not weeping;

I am drowning in my tears. 

I am not hurting;

I am partially dead inside

because they took my family away.  

Break every bone in my body;

just don’t take my family away from me. 

Torture me and cut every nerve ending in my extremity;

just please, don’t harm my family. 

Burn my body whole and alive.

Burn my body whole and alive;

just don’t touch my family. 

Point ALL your mightiest weapons at me

and SHOOT;

just don’t point it at them!

Please, don’t point it at them. 

Let me be the last husband 

and the last father to ever die 

protecting his family 

from your insatiable lust for blood, 

power, ego, oil, control 

and for your insatiable desire

to have more money. 

Take back your flowers; 

instead, go make them not press that button. 

Take back your condolences; 

instead, go and shout at them to stop, 

for God’s sake, stop! 

Blow out all those lit up candles; 

instead, go tell the world 

to never let them get away with it; 

don’t let them do it to another soul. 

Stop the senseless slaughter! 

The slaughter of my family; 

the massacre of my soul, 

and the sacrifice of my future.  

Enough violence.

Enough ‘mistakes’ & ‘friendly-fire’.

Enough excuses.

Enough destruction of innocent lives and livelihood. 

My family didn’t deserve this.
I don’t deserve this!

—©Lozan Yamolky

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