“I couldn’t save him,” says the father of a young deceased

Mehdi Moussaoui’s parents, friends and neighbors believe that the teenager could have changed course and become an asset to society.


Mehdi Moussaoui’s father struggles to hold back his sobs. “I couldn’t protect my eldest son,” he says. Neighbors, friends, stakeholders have been knocking on his door since last Thursday. Everyone mourns with him the death of his 14-year-old boy, involved in a car accident.

Mehdi Moussaoui and a 16-year-old teenager lost their lives last Thursday. The two young people hit a tree while driving a supposedly stolen vehicle, according to our police sources. They are suspected by the authorities of having fired several firearm projectiles at two motorists in the Rosemont and Plateau Mont-Royal sectors.

Some will remain convinced that his son does not deserve tribute, Mehdi Moussaoui’s dad is aware of this. But the multitude of people who came to offer him their sympathies remember the young person as “a very tender child”, kind, polite, he underlines.

A child who could be anyone’s son. A studious boy who brought back impeccable report cards, a fan of soccer and Japanese anime. Someone who had dreams, but also the potential to become an asset to society. “He was excellent at school. Mehdi had a lot of friends,” insists the father. He preferred not to be publicly identified for fear of reprisals.

He was my son, but he could be your son too. I couldn’t save him from that.

Mehdi Moussaoui’s father

Bad Company

He prefers not to talk about his young son’s dating for the moment.

“I knew there was something, but I never would have thought it was at this level,” he says after a moment of reflection.

PHOTO ALAIN ROBERGE, THE PRESS

The ground floor of the building where Mehdi Moussaoui lived was crowded Monday morning. The vast room was filled with confused teenagers, dismayed parents and Montrealers of Algerian origin who came to support the family and loved ones.

The boy was 4 years old when he left his native Algeria with his family to settle in Montreal.

“He was the nicest of all the boys and I weigh my words,” continues the bereaved father.

His behavior had changed a bit over the past year or so. A fight at school, a slight lack of interest in his classes. But he remained the same Mehdi at home: mature, calm, intelligent. “I told him to change. You’re not like the others. You’re not that type. I said everything to raise awareness,” assures his dad.

He now wants to send a message to young people in the neighborhood. “Let them stay united. I want Mehdi to be the last to die like this. »

Young people on edge

The ground floor of the building where Mehdi Moussaoui lived was crowded Monday morning. The vast room was filled with confused teenagers, dismayed parents and Montrealers of Algerian origin who had come to support the family and loved ones.

Speakers on site tried to speak despite the buzz of conversations: some shed tears, others tried to appease the young people who did not understand how their little neighbor could have gotten to this point. No one here had bad memories of him.

Nazar Saaty, volunteer at the Association of Muslim Burial in Quebec, also spoke. “Each of you has incredible potential to be an asset. Crime won’t get you anywhere. »

Narjiss El Moudnib, coach for young people in difficulty, also lent a helping hand. Monday morning, she was the listening ear of teenagers traumatized by having to mourn the loss of a boy who looks like them.

PHOTO ALAIN ROBERGE, THE PRESS

Narjiss El Moudnib, coach for young people in difficulty, came to meet the family and young friends of the deceased.

They are angry to see several young people from their community in the news, but this time, it’s a friend.

Narjiss El Moudnib, coach for young people in difficulty

Adolescents – even children – in search of their identity adopt harmful behaviors, she says. “We can do all kinds of things to get attention. There is a big problem of identity among young people. It could be crime, it could be drugs, it could be social networks,” the speaker lists.

Several helpless and distraught parents regularly ask for his help. “A lot of the burden is put on parents. And it doesn’t just happen to other people. Mehdi, you may have one at home. »

Nazar Saaty was of the same opinion on Monday. “It’s not just the father alone who has the abilities and the tools to manage this. »

PHOTO ALAIN ROBERGE, THE PRESS

Nazar Saaty, volunteer lawyer at the Association of Muslim Burial in Quebec

He wants society to go beyond prejudices: there was something positive in Mehdi Moussaoui, he says. The portrait that is painted of this young person should not be reduced to prejudices, insists Nazar Saaty. It’s easy for people to say that he deserves what happened and to place the blame on the school, the neighborhood or the family, maintains the trained lawyer. “These people don’t want to solve the problem. If a young person who could be their son experienced this end, it is because we, as a society, have failed,” he summarizes.

“It makes you lose hope”

Fadwa, a mother who prefers to keep her last name secret to protect the identity of her children, knew Mehdi Moussaoui. She saw him running in the corridors of his building, laughing in the interior garden. “A very sweet child, you have no idea. The parents are very, very good,” she describes, her voice breaking with grief.

The event shocked his children and shook parents in the area. The deceased had grown up in a normal family, far from crime and conflict. “That’s what’s scary. It can get anyone’s child. It makes you lose hope,” says Fadwa.

The next few days promise to be difficult for the residents of the block. The mother wonders: once the storm has passed, how to broach the subject with her children? How can we do this collective mourning and act in prevention, so that history does not repeat itself?

“I told my children, don’t let his death pass like that. You have to ask yourself how it is that a child turns to that. »


reference: www.lapresse.ca

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