The Doc Project

Quebec mosque shooting survivor Saïd Akjour is standing his ground, and rebuilding his life

Saïd Akjour was in the Islamic Cultural Centre of Quebec when a gunman opened fire on January 29, 2017. Now, his scars are an emblem for what matters most.
Saïd Akjour considers his return to work as an orderly in a public long-term care facility as a major step in his healing. (Maxime Corneau/Radio-Canada)
Listen20:05

"He did this in cold blood. He didn't talk, he didn't scream."

That's Saïd Akjour, describing the night that a shooter entered the Islamic Cultural Centre in Quebec City, where Akjour had been praying, and opened fire. The night was January 29, 2017.

Despite his horrific experience, Saïd knows he has much to be grateful for. He suffered a bullet wound in the shoulder but he survived, and though he bears a scar, he's managed to rejoin his floor hockey teammates to play once again the game he's come to love.

Floor hockey with colleagues from the Regional Health Board is the highlight of Saïd Akjour’s week. (Maxime Corneau/Radio-Canada)

His scar also reminds him of what, and who, can never return. Like the heroic Azzedine Soufiane. The much-loved older man leapt towards the gunman as others tried to escape the bullets. Soufiane was killed, but Saïd credits his own life to that sacrifice, along with the lives of his fellow worshippers attempting to shelter in an all-too-shallow alcove near the shooter.

Now, Saïd must overcome not only his own fears, but those of his young son, Zaky.

Saïd Akjour says if he stops talking as he lies next to his seven-year-old son in bed, Zaky checks to makes sure Akjour is still breathing. (submitted by Saïd Akjour)

In this documentary, Saïd Akjour tells Marika Wheeler the story of his year since that dreadful night.

Click on the "Listen" link on the top of the page to hear his story.

To read about Saïd​'s story in more depth, have a look at Marika Wheeler's news feature for CBC Montreal.

About the producer

Marika Wheeler/CBC (Elise Jacob/CBC)
Based in Quebec City, Marika Wheeler travels across the province telling the stories of people who live and work in la belle province for CBC Radio One and cbc.ca/news.

This documentary was edited by Alison Cook.