Young man killed at Ramallah Café remembered as loving, passionate, funny

Yazan Alhorany, 21, who was stabbed to death at the Winnipeg café this week, is being mourned and remembered by his community as loving, sincere and passionate.

Yazan Alhorany died after being stabbed at Ramallah Café Monday night

Yazan Alhorany was popular, loving, passionate and funny, friends say. (Yazan Alhorani/Facebook)

A young man who was stabbed to death at a Winnipeg café earlier this week is being mourned and remembered by his community as loving, sincere and passionate.

Yazan Alhorany, 21, died after a fight at Ramallah Café late Monday night.

A family friend and community leader, Omar Rahimi, says Alhorany came to Canada roughly three years ago after his family fled Syria. Rahimi says Alhorany was popular and his death is heartbreaking.

Shaden Abusaleh, who worked with Alhorany as part of a theatre group offering a safe space to Syrian youth, recalls Alhorany as a lovely man with a cool attitude.

"He was, to us, really, just an illustration of passion and love and kindness, and the friendships that we strive to cultivate," Abusaleh said Wednesday.

Alhorany was among the first Syrian young people to participate in Sawa Theatre, where Abusaleh is a producer. She says Alhorany and another performer, who was badly injured Monday, had a deep friendship with each other and the other performers in the group. 

Yazan Alhorany smiles during a 2016 skit at Sawa Theatre, a Winnipeg venue for Syrian youth. (Sawa Theatre/Facebook)

No arrests have been made in the investigation, and Winnipeg police have not issued any information regarding the name and condition of the second victim.

Abusaleh described the other young man, who was brought to hospital in unstable condition after the fight at the restaurant and hookah café, as a brother above all, and a kind, genuine person. The incident happened on his 19th birthday.

"I think one of the greatest things about Yazan and [his friend] and his friends has been just seeing how beautiful and warm and incredible their friendships were," Abusaleh said.

Abusaleh remembered the humour Alhorany and the other youth together brought to the theatre's work.

"They're very funny," she said. "I guess one of the greatest things with both Yazan and [his friend] has always been how they were all capable of always finding things to both be happy about … things to laugh about, even when we were most serious during our rehearsals in our program."

Greatly missed, lovingly remembered

Messages commemorating Alhorany's spirit flowed onto social media after his death.

On Tuesday, Blady Middle Eastern grocery posted that Alhorany had worked at the store. It closed for the day to honour him.

The Syrian Assembly of Manitoba also issued a post announcing his passing.

"He will be greatly missed and lovingly remembered by his family and the community," the assembly wrote on Facebook.

In its own post, Ramallah Café wrote it condemns violence, and called Alhorany's death an unbearable loss. The café will be closed until further notice out of respect for the family, it said. "Once again, our hearts go to the family, friends and to all of you that are deeply traumatized since last night."

A memorial for Alhorany will be held at the Gateway Recreation Centre on Wednesday evening, according to organizer Nour Ali.

A funeral for Alhorany will be held on Thursday at Winnipeg's Grant Mosque on Waverley Street.