They met as graduate students in Montreal, drawn there by Concordia University’s well-regarded engineering program. They had both landed good jobs in the industry. They recently bought a house in Montreal. They had flown home to Iran for their wedding, attended by family.
“They were going to invite us for a housewarming party this new year,” said their friend, Ali Dolatabadi. “He was very excited.”
The couple, Siavash Ghafouri-Azar and Sara Mamani, was one of at least two pairs of newlyweds on board a Ukraine International Airlines jetliner when it went down shortly after takeoff from Tehran’s international airport early Wednesday, killing all 167 passengers and nine crew members.
Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said Thursday that intelligence indicated Iran had shot down the plane — possibly by mistake. The Iranian government has denied bringing down the jetliner.
The flight was en route to Kyiv, Ukraine, and 63 Canadians were on board. Many were of Iranian descent.
Dolatabadi, a professor at Concordia University, was one of Ghafouri-Azar’s thesis supervisors while he was a student there.
Dolatabadi recalled his former student as a “very intelligent” and “very kind person” who always worked hard. He was humble, Dolatabadi added, and always polite.
“It was one of the main features of his character — extremely hardworking and very much liked by everyone,” he said. “Yest