Overcome with grief, Shahin Moghaddam says he is somewhat comforted by the meeting he had with Prime Minister Justin Trudeau on Friday.
Just three days after learning his wife, 39-year-old Shakiba Feghahati, and his son, 10-year-old Rosstin Moghaddam, were killed in the Ukrainian Airlines disaster, the Nobleton, Ont., man met with Trudeau in a meeting arranged for victims’ families at a hotel in Richmond Hill.
Moghaddam told Global News that Rosstin, a Grade 4 student at Beynon Fields public school in Richmond Hill, always said he wanted to be Justin Trudeau when he grew up. He said the prime minister asked him about his son’s career aspirations.
“I told him the same thing. He cried with me. He’s such a great man. I don’t know anything about his politics, but personally, he’s a great man,” Moghanddam said as tears streamed down his face, adding he thinks that Rosstin was watching from heaven today.
“He’s so supportive emotionally and it’s almost everything for me.”
Moghaddam said he last saw his wife and son on Dec. 10 when they left for Iran. He said it was their first trip home since the family came to Canada for a better life seven years ago.
“I came with empty pockets. We used our knowledge. We worked to build such an amazing country. We were useful Canadians,” Moghaddam said.
Moghaddam, a computer science engineer who went back to George Brown College for construction management, said he decided to stay home to continue working at the family business, Shawn Smithery & Forging Inc. — a metal fabrication company the couple started together.
“She insisted for me to come and I just said, ‘I want to stay and to continue work and pay the bills coming in,'” explained Moghaddam.
His wife and son spent the month visiting with loved ones back home and sent back pictures of their adventures with grandparents, uncles, and aunts.
“Every day I had a conversation with her. And I was talking with them right before they boarded the plane. It was a brand new plane — such a disaster,” he said.
Moghaddam said Rosstin spoke four languages, loved swimming, played the piano and was a Taekwondo champion.
He called his wife an angel who had a Bachelor’s in economics degree and went to York University when she came to Toronto to get a certificate in public administration.
“She was everything to me. I didn’t have a chance to say goodbye,” Moghaddam said.
After a memorial for his wife and son in Toronto on the weekend, he said he plans to go back to Iran on Sunday via Istanbul, Turkey. However, he said he is still unsure whether he will fly or drive to Tehran from there.