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Edmonton Somali community mourns 14-year-old boy who drowned


Friday August 19, 2022
By Alex Antoneshyn



A service was held Wednesday for the 14-year-old boy who recently drowned at a Whitecourt park.

The prayer for Hassan Mohamed was hosted at Al Rashid Mosque in northwest Edmonton.

Dozens of people from the Edmonton Somali community attended.

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"When there is a tragedy like this, adversities like this, we all come together and give each other social support," explained Habiba Mohamud.

"It's very hard to see that he's gone when a few days ago he was just smiling and we were playing basketball together," a friend of eight years, Iqitizi Taylor, told CTV News Edmonton.

"I just don't know how to take it all."

Hassan was at Whitecourt's Rotary Park on Sunday with his family. He entered a pond and never resurfaced.

Divers retrieved his body on Tuesday.

The days-long wait to have Hassan's body recovered – which was delayed until Alberta's volunteer underwater search team became available – has only exacerbated the community's pain, Mohamud said.

"What's really making us feel even so bad about what's happened is the way the incident was handled. You're talking of a child who was in the lake for three days and three nights," she told CTV News Edmonton.

It's hard for Hassan's peers to understand, too.

"Why didn't they help him in the first day?" asked Abdirahman Abdi. "Doesn't make sense to me."

Hassan's family and community are advocating for the Alberta government to fund underwater rescue services under the emergency response umbrella and for more safety features at the park. 
 



 





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