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"AHM" 2006 Obituary


AHMAD  AHMED 

AHMAD o@ca.on.york_county.toronto.toronto_star 2006-01-26 published
Cabbie killed by racing Mercedes
By Isabel TEOTONIO, Staff Reporter with files from Nick PRON, Henry STANCU, Dale Anne FREED and David GROSSMAN
Cab driver Tahir KHAN had just dropped off his last fare and was headed south on Mount Pleasant Rd. It was 10: 20 p.m.
Racing north were two Mercedes driven by 18-year-olds, each pushing 140 km/h in a 50 km/h zone, police say. Next to one driver was the popular video game Need For Speed.
As the Mercedes rounded a bend, the taxi made a left turn on to Whitehall Rd. A loud crash shattered the still of Tuesday night.
One of the Mercedes, a silver 1999 model, T-boned the taxi, drilling it into a utility pole, police say.
KHAN, 46, died instantly, and the driver of the mangled Mercedes escaped with just a few scratches. The driver of the other car fled, returning to the scene after ditching his car a few blocks away, posing as a bystander, police say.
It was a tragic end to KHAN's life, which was brimming with hope as he looked forward to becoming a Canadian citizen tomorrow. It was a day he'd long looked forward to, because it meant he was one step closer to being reunited with his wife, whom he hoped to bring over from Pakistan.
The accused are university students -- believed to be studying at Ryerson and York -- and both had attended St. Andrew's College, a prestigious private school in Aurora, graduating in June 2004. One played on St. Andrew's football team, and both were average students who never got in trouble, said head football coach Courtney SHRIMPTON. One of them lives a tony neighbourhood just north of the Bridle Path. Yesterday, police would not comment on whether the cars belonged to the teens' parents.
As police yesterday questioned what influence the game may have played and KHAN's Friends grappled with his death, the two accused made a brief court appearance.
"It's a horrible irony," said Det. Paul LOBSINGER about the presence of the video game, which allows players to choose high-end cars and race them through city streets while being pursued by police cruisers.
"Some have said this is life imitating art but I don't know," said LOBSINGER, adding "a game is a game, but when you get behind the wheel it's reality."
LOBSINGER described the game as an "ultra-violent driving simulation, fighting simulation and criminal simulation."
"But are games the cause?" he asked. "Absolutely not. But, it is rather ironic."
Police say alcohol was not a factor, and that it's not clear if the video game was played before the two went out driving.
"I have no words to explain why this happened," said cabbie Muhammad NASEEM, who was a friend of KHAN's. "He was a very nice man, very quiet, very polite, all the good words you can think of can be used to describe him."
Earlier this week, recalled NASEEM, KHAN had told him that he planned to return home to the district of Jhang, in Pakistan's Punjab region. KHAN's mother was ill and he wanted to be with her. He also looked forward to visiting his brother, sister and wife of 15 years, whom he's helped support since moving to Canada almost six years ago.
He was looking forward to returning home as a Canadian citizen, something he would have become during a citizenship ceremony at the Scarborough Town Centre.
"He was so excited," said KHAN's friend Munir AHMAD, while visiting the coroner's office to identify the body. "He was planning to bring his family here."
Last night, a large group of Friends gathered at the east-end apartment KHAN shared with Shahid HASAN to call his family in Pakistan and break the devastating news.
"He had lots of Friends," said HASAN, who has lived with KHAN for the last five years in Scarborough. "He was a very kind man who was helpful to everyone."
Jim BELL, manager of Diamond Taxi, said KHAN had been with the company for three years and called his death a tragedy for everyone involved.
"Those kids must be feeling absolutely terrible and the parents of these kids who were racing must be feeling devastated."
Charged with criminal negligence causing death are Alexander RYAZANOV and Wang-Piao Dumani ROSS. ROSS is also charged with failing to stop after an accident causing death.
Outside the courtroom where the two teens made a brief appearance at bail court in College Park yesterday, the aunt of one described them as "really good boys."
"It's tragic, it's horrible what happened. Now I am going to be worried about him staying in jail with criminals."
Because lawyers for the pair weren't available, the two must return for separate bail hearings -- ROSS tomorrow and RYAZANOV on Monday. Neither has a criminal record.
The two long-time Friends chatted quietly to each other as they sat in the prisoner's box.
The Crown says it will oppose their release on two grounds: public outrage over the death and the likelihood of reoffending.

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AHMED o@ca.on.york_county.toronto.globe_and_mail 2006-04-06 published
QURESHI, Hifzul Kabeer
By Usman AHMED, Page A22
Friend, scholar, linguist, poet, author, critic, columnist. Born September 4, 1931, in Amarvati, India. Died October 12, 2005, in Richmond Hill, Ontario, of heart and stroke complications, aged 74.
Growing up in a dusty little town in India, who would have imagined that one day his presence would be of immense importance to the Indo-Pakistani community in Toronto. After early education he moved to Nagpur, India for his M.A. in literature. During the riots in 1950 his family moved to Hyderabad. Hyderabad proved to be a fertile ground for his love of literature; he met many scholars and poets. There he worked as a copywriter before getting a teaching post at Nagpur University.
Afterward, he moved to Bombay (now Mumbai) as a freelance writer where his social circle included famous Bollywood movie stars of the day. In 1962, he left India for the U.S. After a brief teaching stint at the University of Chicago, he immigrated to Toronto in 1965 and worked for the Ontario government. However, he never let go of his original passion for poetry and literature. In 1967 he started an Urdu monthly, Sahba, and later another, Armaghan. He established the Urdu Society of Canada. This society organized many international events, conferences and symposiums. His dedication to the Urdu language quickly earned him the title of Baba-e-Urdu (father of Urdu) in Toronto literary circles.
I first met him in July, 1975. I had just started to work for the Ministry of Housing. We met on a short elevator ride. At the time there were very few South Asian faces in Toronto and his warm welcome made me feel comfortable in a new city; we instantly became Friends.
Once we were walking at lunch time when he found two five-dollar bills on the sidewalk. He immediately gave me one saying we should share this windfall. This sense of fairness permeated his character.
In 1960 he married Afroz, younger sister of literary figure Vajida TABBASSUM.
Despite his literary interests and other activities he never short-changed his family life. His younger son, Doctor Rifat QURESHI, tells me he remembers his father for his quiet strength and limitless wisdom. "I was always testing my father, but when I would step over the line - -- one look from him said it all." His first daughter, Farah, says, "Dad had a great impact on me through his actions rather than words. He had no time for idle gossip, waving away such talk with a sense of irritation. He had nothing but understanding and patience for other people's points of view whether he agreed with them or not, he always respected them."
He was an excellent translator. Soon after arriving in Toronto he translated a Government of Ontario booklet titled A Newcomer's Guide to Services in Ontario into Urdu. He also translated many literary works from Urdu and Farsi into English for the benefit of English-speaking literature students. In 1988, he authored An Anthology of Modern Urdu Poetry, considered an authoritative source on the subject. More recently he was working on two books: on cultural and religious issues facing immigrants to North America and on the evolution of the Urdu language. He also took a keen interest in religion, history and contemporary politics.
Kabir loved life. At parties he would entertain with recitations of his latest poems. He enjoyed his Cuban cigars and only reluctantly gave up smoking them during the final couple of years, based less on his doctor's advice than on the spiralling cost of his favourite brand.
In our 30 years of Friendship, I never heard him make a negative comment about anyone. He was a true gentleman; he lived his life with compassionate warmth, welcoming everyone with his heart.
Usman is a friend of Hifzul QURESHI.

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AHMED o@ca.on.york_county.toronto.toronto_star 2006-03-21 published
BOWERMAN, Millicent (née HATTON)
Passed away peacefully, at the age of 87, with her family by her side, at Saint_Joseph's Hospital, Hamilton. She was the loving wife of George (predeceased 2004). Loving and caring mother of Brian (wife Jennifer) of Ancaster, and Barry (wife Susan) of Sudbury. Beloved sister of Louisa REEVES, Joan GRIFFITHS and George HATTON (all predeceased.) Her compassion, wit and quiet determination will be sadly missed by her grandchildren Hilary and Nigel (Ancaster), Kimberley and Caitie (Sudbury). Grateful acknowledgement to Doctors AHMED and THORNER for their compassionate medical care administered over the years. Sincere thanks to the Emergency Room, Critical Care Unit and C.T.U. staff at Saint_Joseph's Medical Centre (Hamilton) for their efficiency and compassion during her stay. Grateful acknowledgement to the Meadowlands Retirement Residence (Ancaster) for making Millie feel so welcome and providing her with an enjoyable friendly living environment for eight months. A Service of Remembrance will be held at Turner and Porter "Peel" Chapel, 2180 Hurontario Street, Mississauga on Wednesday March 22, 2006 at 11 o'clock. Visitation will begin at 10 a.m. For those who wish, donations may be made to the Heart and Stroke Foundation.

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AHMED o@ca.on.york_county.toronto.toronto_star 2006-06-23 published
Shot teen had meek side
By Steve RENNIE, Staff Reporter with files from John DUNCANSON
Duane CHRISTIAN was no saint. But the 15-year-old boy shot by a Toronto police officer this week had a meek side, one that made him reluctant to go down into his aunt's basement because he was afraid of her cat.
It was this image that Delores RICKETTS, a cousin of CHRISTIAN's mother Simone WELLINGTON, couldn't get out of her mind yesterday as she spoke about the teen's death on Tuesday after he was spotted driving a stolen van.
Two officers patrolling the Scarborough Golf Club Rd. area saw the white Dodge Caravan just before 5 a.m.
The pair chased the van and tried to corner it in the parking lot of the Royaltown apartment building, at the corner of Lawrence Ave. E. and Scarborough Golf Club Rd.
"If you're afraid of a little cat, how can you get caught up doing all these wrong things?" said RICKETTS, describing how CHRISTIAN would sometimes stay at her Scarborough home when his mother couldn't handle him.
"When he misbehaved, I'd take him here for a while to see if I could make something out of him," RICKETTS said. "Their lifestyles were a bit different from mine."
She said CHRISTIAN would act up and show off when he was with his Friends, but was a different person when he was alone.
Since he loved cars, RICKETTS thought he would wind up working at a dealership one day.
RICKETTS said CHRISTIAN had been trying to contact his father, whom he had never met. She remembered watching him make calls during one of his visits and becoming angry when he couldn't reach him.
"He tried. He tried to be accepted," she said.
Despite his troubled past, relatives came to CHRISTIAN's defence yesterday saying police overreacted when they shot and killed the teen.
"They're not heroes, they're murderers," said Monique CRAIG, CHRISTIAN's 18-year-old cousin.
"They didn't have to shoot him. He didn't have no weapon."
The portrait that emerged from Friends and family is that of a troubled teen who had bounced from school to school.
He had several youth convictions, including robbery.
CRAIG said CHRISTIAN lived with a long-time friend for a time after his mother kicked him out of the house a few years ago. He had recently been living with his grandparents, Roy and Mori WELLINGTON, in the Royaltown apartment building.
The apartment superintendent said only that CHRISTIAN's grandparents lived in the building, not the teen or his mother.
Several neighbours of CHRISTIAN's grandparents said the family was quiet and mostly kept to themselves.
Sahra AHMED, who has lived in the building for eight years, said she didn't know the family well but never noticed anything out of the ordinary.
"I'd see them in the hall sometimes and they seemed like a nice family."
Special Investigations Unit investigators returned to the shooting scene yesterday to take more photos as they piece together what led to the fatal shooting.
More canvasses of area buildings are also being done as investigators try to find witnesses: to the shooting.
An autopsy has been performed on the 15-year-old, but the Special Investigations Unit is withholding that information until they talk further with the family of the dead youth, said Rose BLISS, the Special Investigations Unit spokesperson.
Police sources indicated the officer fired into the passenger side of the stolen white Dodge Caravan when the driver tried to run down his partner.
Under the law, officers must feel there is an imminent danger to themselves or others if they are discharge their weapon.
Funeral arrangements have yet to be made, the family said yesterday.

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