Canada

Nine-year-old injured in London, Ont. attack on Muslim family released from hospital

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LONDON, ONT. —
Fayez Afzaal, the nine-year-old boy who was left an orphan after surviving the deadly June 6 attack on a Muslim family, has been released from hospital, CTV News has learned.

Those close to him say it will be a long road to recovery emotionally for the boy, but having the strength of the community behind him will help in that journey.

At the London Muslim Mosque, which is attached to the London Islamic School where Fayez is a pupil, there continues to be a steady stream of well-wishers and those paying their respects by leaving flowers and gifts.

Among those who came Monday were Dawn and David Nicholson, who presented Imam Abd Alfatah Twakkal with a painting for Fayez.

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“We saw the picture of the four people that were killed on the news so my wife decided to sketch it and paint it so that the lone survivor would have something to remember his family by,” said David, as Dawn handed the imam the portrait.

Moments later, Londoner Colleen Murphy left a bouquet of fresh flowers along the fence outside the school. Through tears, Murphy said she grieves for the family and the loss.

“You know I thank God every day to live in Canada. It’s a fantastic country. But this is so sad.”

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Asad Choudhary, the principal of the London Islamic School, said he has learned from the family that Fayez is recovering well from his physical injuries.

“The more we think about life after these deaths for Fayez, the more our heart mourns.”

Choudhary said Fayez is expected to be back at school in the fall.

“One of the biggest and most important things to keep in mind is that continuity is important for Fayez. Fayez needs to reunite with his friends, reunite with his teachers, and reunite, really, with the larger family that he has here at our school, as well as in the larger community of London.”

With the family having just been laid to rest on Saturday, Twakkal says only now does the real work begin in terms of healing and recovery.

“There are long-lasting impacts and repercussions that have come from this, and so there’s a lot of support that is going to continue to be needed on various levels, for the family, as well as members of our community.”

In the meantime, the entire student body at the London Islamic School has begun a letter-writing campaign to Fayez so students can extend their support personally, said Choudhary.

“When he is alone, and he’s thinking about sad thoughts, he has a very decorated box to open up to read all of these positive messages from his friends. So we’re hoping to keep that smile on his face.”

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