Edmonton

U of A post-graduate student Amir Saeedinia remembered as a thoughtful, caring friend

When Ali Khaledi Nasab found out his close friend was coming to Edmonton, the two made plans to get together this coming summer. But that friend, Amir Saeedinia, was killed Wednesday a plane crash in Iran.

The 25-year-old student was coming to Edmonton to begin work on his PhD

Amir Saeedinia was coming to Edmonton to begin work on his Phd in mechanical engineering. (Ali Khaledi Nasab)

When Ali Khaledi Nasab found out his close friend was coming to Edmonton, the two made plans to get together this coming summer.

But that friend, Amir Saeedinia, was one of 176 people killed Wednesday when a Ukrainian airliner bound for Kyiv crashed shortly after takeoff from Tehran airport in Iran.

'I thought it's a nightmare'

When he first heard about the crash, ​​​​Khaledi Nasab thought there was little chance he would know anyone on the flight.

"I woke up to the news Wednesday morning, and I was very surprised," said Khaledi Nasab, a postdoctoral research fellow at Stanford University in Palo Alto, Calif.

Amir Saeedinia, left, poses with a group of friends at a send-off party for Ali Khaledi Nasab, in red. (Ali Khaledi Nasab )

"I couldn't really believe it, I thought it's a nightmare. I thought I'm still asleep."

Once he started reading the news and checking messages online, the reality sunk in.

'It was really tragic' 

"His parents didn't even leave the airport," said Khaledi Nasab. "They were at the airport when this happened."

Saeedinia was on the flight with his girlfriend, Nasim Rahmanifar, also a mechanical engineering student at the University of Alberta .

Khaledi Nasab said his friend was one of the smartest and most thoughtful people he knew.

"It was really tragic, like you cannot believe it," he said. "You have a friend that you are expecting to come to Canada, and I was planning to visit them sometime in the summer. And suddenly the friend is gone."

Saeedinia was en route to Edmonton to complete his PhD in mechanical engineering at the Center for Design of Advanced Materials. He was one of 10 people on the flight connected to the University of Alberta. 

  • Mojgan Daneshmand, professor of electrical engineering and Canada Research Chair (Tier II) in radio frequency microsystems for communication and sensing, department of electrical and computer engineering, Faculty of Engineering.
  • Pedram Mousavi, professor of mechanical engineering and NSERC Industrial Research Chair in intelligent integrated sensors and antennas, department of mechanical engineering, Faculty of Engineering.
  • Pouneh Gorji, student, master of science, department of computing science, Faculty of Science.
  • Elnaz Nabiyi, Phd student, department of accounting, operations and information systems, Alberta School of Business.
  • Arash Pourzarabi, student, master of science, department of computing science, Faculty of Science.
  • Nasim Rahmanifar, student, master of science, department of mechanical engineering, Faculty of Engineering.
  • Amir Saeedinia, Phd student, department of mechanical engineering, Faculty of Engineering.
  • Sara Saadat, 2019 bachelor of science graduate, department of psychology, Faculty of Science.
  • Saba Saadat: student, bachelor of science degree, with plans to attend medical school. 
  • Mohammad Mahdi Elyasi, 2017 master of science, department of mechanical engineering, Faculty of Engineering.

Khaledi Nasab  said his friend had the opportunity to go to a number of universities, but chose Edmonton, and Canada specifically.

"He had the chance to be at Stanford even, but he did not even apply here. He chose a university in Canada so he can go back and see his family every once in a while. His parents had a lot of high hopes for him, now they're left with only one child." 

Saeedinia's parents and brother live in Iran.

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