“Shoot for the moon, even if you miss, you’ll land among the stars”
This inspirational quote was part of a mural 15-year-old Yumna Afzaal painted at her school before she was brutally killed alongside her father, mother, and grandmother in Ontario terrorist vehicle attack.
Therefore, when Toronto-based artist Amer S.M. began planning for a mural of the slain family, he wanted to give tribute to young Yumna, Global News reported.
“What she did at her age was a dream of mine when I was her age, (which) is why I wanted to make the piece as original to her work to give her that tribute,” said S.M.
“When I read the quote that she had on the wall, I wanted to make the art reflect that — having a silhouette of her mom, her dad, (her grandma) and herself in the sky and the stars,” S.M continued.
The mural, commissioned by the property management team at White Oaks Mall, will reside at the mall until June 6, the one-year anniversary of the vehicle attack.
It will then be moved to its permanent home at a community center belonging to the London Muslim Mosque.
At White Oaks Mall this morning for the unveiling of a mural dedicated to Yumnah Afzaal, who along with her parents and grandmother was killed during the June 6 targeted vehicle attack. The piece will stay here before moving to the London Muslim Mosque in June #LdnOnt pic.twitter.com/DBj5yO3aKo
— Andrew Graham (@andrewjwgraham) February 19, 2022
Huda Sallam, a friend of Yumna, remembers her as creative and artistic.
“What people don’t know is, she is the art. She was and is the masterpiece. She is her own legacy,” Sallam said.
“When you think of Our London Family, you remember a tragic story … I think it’s really important that we’re finally starting to heal as a community.”
Sallam cried when she saw the mural on Saturday morning.
“It’s beautiful… she would’ve loved it so much.”
Imam Aarij Anwer of the London Muslim Mosque also recounts Afzaal as a creative student when he taught her at the London Islamic School.
“It’s incredible… To see it in-person and how beautiful it is (and) how beautifully and thoughtfully it was curated, the words that are written … it means so much to the Muslim community.”
“This is our city, this is our home (and) this memorial is a living example of that.”
Salman Afzaal, 46, his 44-year-old wife, Madiha Salman, their 15-year-old daughter, Yumna, and her 74-year-old grandmother, Talat Afzaal, were killed while out for an evening walk.
Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau called the killings a “terrorist attack” and vowed to clamp down on far-right groups and online hate.