Written by Hadi Wess
Hadi Wess abandoned pre-med studies in Syria due to the civil war to come to Canada with his family. He currently studies psychology at the University of Ottawa, where he is also the Vice-President-Social for the university’s Student Federation (SFUO).
He helped to organize a vigil on June 13th honouring the victims of the Pulse Nightclub shooting in Orlando, Florida. SFUO condemned homophobia, transphobia but also Islamophobia at the vigil, where the tragedy was framed as a hate crime against the LGBTQ community as opposed to a terrorist attack.
Hadi spoke at the vigil about the impact of the shooting on Muslim communities amid fears that this incident would be used to justify further Islamophobia. He also discussed the importance of marginalized communities being allies to one another. Here is his speech.