On 12 August 2017, more than a hundred people gathered at Wali Asr Community Centre to commemorate the loss of lives in the Mirza Olang massacre. The evening consisted of a candle light vigil, prayers, and a fundraiser. The evening began with Karima Salimi’s recitation of verses from the Quran, followed by speeches.
Mr Ahmad Heidari provided a brief overview of the tragic attack on the residents of Mirza Olang, a village in Northern Afghanistan, which is predominantly home to the Hazara people. He also elaborated on the persecution of the Hazara people throughout history.
- Zahra Ahmadi expressed her grief through a poem.
- Marziya Mohammadi spoke about the important role of Afghan diaspora, especially the youth, in alleviating suffering following attacks of this nature, and the significance of proactive community engagement in creating sustainable change.
- Mohammadi Al-khafaji, the current CEO of Welcome to Australia, extended his sympathy and support to the Afghan community in Australia and offered to raise awareness about the ongoing targeted attacks on the Hazara people to the wider Australian community. He stressed the importance of recognizing our national responsibility towards those seeking asylum on our shores and currently in limbo.
- Dr Niamatullah Ibrahimi addressed the audience from Canberra. He spoke about the Afghan government’s complacency towards the atrocities carried out by the two major terrorist groups, ISIS and Taliban, and also warned the community to be prepared for attacks far worse provided the Afghan government and international community remain silent. Elyas Alavi addressed the grief and tragedies of the Hazara people by poems.
The event ended with generous donations, raising $4,828 in cash and another $1,250 transferred directly to the Baba Mazari Foundation account. Also, $2,965 raised via the online campaign as of 12th of August 2017.