Vancouver man caught in crossfire of Kenya mall attack laid to rest

Published: September 27, 2013

West Vancouver businessman Nagib Damji was killed when he was caught in the crossfire at the Westgate Mall in Nairobi, Kenya. Nick Procaylo/PNG

JENNY LEE
POSTMEDIA NEWS

As the shrouded white coffin of Vancouver businessman Nagib Damji passed on bearers’ shoulders, the congregation repeatedly sang a soothingly hypnotic Salwaat, or prayer, for Damji, one of two Canadians who died in a weekend terrorist attack in Kenya that killed at least 68.

About 400 people attended the ceremony at the Burnaby Ismaili Centre to commemorate Damji, 59, who was having a coffee at ArtCaffe in the Westgate Shopping Mall in the Kenyan capital of Nairobi last weekend when he was caught in a crossfire.

Damji‚Äôs family released a statement Friday, describing him as ‚Äúa loving husband, cherished father of three daughters, a brother, a son and a good friend to many.‚ÄĚ They noted his ‚Äúvivacious, kind-hearted, gregarious‚ÄĚ nature and his ‚Äúmagnetic personality and a great love for people, especially his family.‚ÄĚ

In keeping with Muslim tradition, the funeral ceremony itself was all about a community coming together in support rather than a celebration of individuality. Muslims believe that everyone is equal in the eyes of God, so all funerals are identical with the same prayers, rites and ceremonies. Continuous prayers are recited for the soul of the deceased from the moment the death is known until funeral ceremonies are complete.

Men and women sat separately Friday, mostly cross-legged on the floor, and sang continuous prayers for about an hour.

The family has set up a donation page for Damji’s favourite charity, The Aga Khan Foundation, which helps improve the living conditions of poor people in Asia and Africa.

(Those who wish to donate can do so by visiting www.akfcnet community.ca/netcommunity/tribute-gifts/2013/tribute-in-memory-of-late-naguib-damji)

Damji and the other Canadian were killed as gunmen used AK-47 assault rifles and threw grenades at Nairobi’s upscale Westgate mall, a venue frequented by expatriates and wealthy locals. Officials said the other Canadian killed was diplomat Annemarie Desloges, who worked at the Canadian embassy in Nairobi.

The attack began Saturday and dragged into Sunday, with 10 to 15 terrorists holed up inside the building with up to 50 hostages, as Kenyan authorities mounted what it called a final operation to end the siege. By evening, Kenyan officials said ‚Äúmost‚ÄĚ hostages had been rescued. Somalia‚Äôs Islamist rebel group, al-Shabab, claimed responsibility and said the attack was revenge for the presence of Kenyan troops in Somalia.

At least two Canadian citizens and one permanent resident of Canada were among the 175 injured.

jennylee@vancouversun.com

Friends and family members attend the funeral of Nagib Damji in Burnaby, BC., September 27, 2013. West Vancouver businessman Nagib Damji was killed in when he was caught in the crossfire at the Westgate Mall in Nairobi, Kenya. (Nick Procaylo/PNG)


Tags: , , , , , , , , , ,





Featured

racism

UK Pakistani community outraged as racism fears prevented officials from reporting child sex abuse cases

SYLVIA HUI THE ASSOCIATED PRESS ROTHERHAM, England – Members of Britain’s Pakistani community reacted with outrage Wednesday amid reports that officials failed to act on…
Continue Reading »

India web

India unveils dot Bharat domain name

IANS New Delhi – Telecommunications and IT Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad Wednesday unveiled the dot Bharat domain name, an official statement said here. Most of…
Continue Reading »

Whale tourism

Whale tourism affecting marine animals’ behaviour

IANS London – Boat trips to watch whales and dolphins may increasingly put the survival of marine mammals at risk, conservationists have warned. The jaunts…
Continue Reading »

LOCAL NEWS

PRV0826-SOCIETYEVICTED_217653098

City of Vancouver gives multicultural society the boot

LARISSA CAHUTE VANCOUVER DESI The Vancouver Multicultural Society‚Äôs 40th anniversary celebrations have hit a major snag after the city issued the group notice of eviction…
Continue Reading »

Mystic India: The World Tour takes the PNE stage Tuesday and runs until Sept. 1. Submitted photo.

Bollywood dance group Mystic India takes stage at PNE for one week only

VANCOUVER DESI Internationally acclaimed Bollywood dance troupe Mystic India will be transporting Vancouver audiences overseas as it takes the PNE stage for one week only….
Continue Reading »

File photo: King George Skytrain Station in Surrey on August 20, 2013. City councillor Barinder Rasode has scheduled a telephone town hall to discuss the city's transit issues. Wayne Leidenfrost/ PNG

Surrey politician schedules telephone town hall session on transportation issues

VANCOUVER DESI Surrey city councillor and potential mayoral candidate Barinder Rasode is holding a telephone town hall to address the city‚Äôs ongoing transportation problems. ‚ÄúResidents…
Continue Reading »

Don't Miss...

india

Indian minister refers to Dec. 16 fatal gang rape as “small incident” that hurt tourism

IANS New Delhi ¬†– An Indian minister is embroiled in controversy after he referred to Delhi’s fatal Dec. 16 gang rape as a “small incident”…
Continue Reading »

common krait

Man bites, kills poisonous snake slithering towards him in bed

VANCOUVER DESI In a shocking incident, an Indian man bit and killed¬†a venomous snake in his bed, according to the Daily Telegraph. Rai Singh, from…
Continue Reading »

teen music video

Vancouver teen’s music video gets over 300k views in less than a week

VANCOUVER DESI Vancouver teen and aspiring musician Sid Bhullar has released his third music video online¬† – and within one week he‚Äôs already surpassed 300,000…
Continue Reading »

Unruly passenger tied to his seat

Drunk Air India passenger tied to his seat on flight after attacking people onboard, tearing clothes of two pursers

VANCOUVER DESI An Air India passenger, who went wild after a few drinks and allegedly tore the clothes of two pursers and bit some fellow…
Continue Reading »

Const. Ian MacDonald says: ‚ÄėYou don‚Äôt want to see anybody carted away in an ambulance over this, and that is a very real possibility. Ric Ernst/PNG

‘It’s pride getting in the way’: Feuding Indo-Canadian youth factions worry Abbotsford cops (w/ video)

JENNIFER SALTMAN¬† VANCOUVER DESI¬† No one really knows how the conflict started. According to a number of people who are involved, in February one person…
Continue Reading »


Bollywood Latest

Actress Alia Bhatt attends the Highway premiere during 64th Berlinale International Film Festival at Zoo Palast on February 13, 2014 in Berlin, Germany.Clemens Bilan/Getty Images

After becoming the butt of all jokes, Alia Bhatt joins in with viral video ‘Genius of the Year’

IANS Mumbai ¬†– After she became the butt of all Internet jokes for incorrectly naming India’s president on Karan Johar’s chat show, Alia Bhatt has…
Continue Reading »

Indian Bollywood actress Priyanka Chopra poses for a photograph during the final night of the Lakme Fashion Week (LFW) Winter/Festival 2014 in Mumbai on late August 24, 2014. STRSTRDEL/AFP/Getty Images

Priyanka Chopra not interested in ALS Ice Bucket Challenge

IANS Mumbai — Bollywood sweetheart Priyanka Chopra has been nominated by many to take up the ALS ice bucket challenge – but she has openly…
Continue Reading »

Indian Bollywood actress Dia Mirza Khan showcases a creation by designer Vikram Phadnis in collaboration with Nakkashi during the Lakme Fashion Week (LFW) Winter/Festival 2014 in Mumbai on August 24, 2014. STRSTRDEL/AFP/Getty Images

Dia Mirza unveils musical short film B for Braille

IANS Mumbai — Actor-filmmaker Dia Mirza Monday unveiled B for Braille, a musical short film that aims at promoting Braille literacy in the country, and…
Continue Reading »