Over €100,000 has been raised on a Go-Fund Me page to bring home the bodies of a former NUI Galway PhD student and his family to their home country of Iraq.
Karzan Sabah Ahmed was one of the three victims of a fatal collision just outside of Ballinasloe, County Galway alongside his wife Shahen Qasm and their infant daughter Lina last month.
Karzan had just completed his PhD studies in insect ecology in NUI Galway. According to the Independent, Karzan was travelling to Carlow with his family to view a property as he was about to commence a post at Carlow IT.
A Go-Fund me page was established in the wake of the accident by Dr John Carey, a former colleague of Karzan’s. The page was set up to bring the bodies of the family to their hometown of Erbil in the Kurdish region of Iraq.
The page states “You would have not met two nicer people, who loved Ireland and touched the lives of those they met. Many of us didn’t get to meet Lina, and she never got to meet her family in Iraq. The shortness of her life is particularly difficult to understand. The least we can do is try and get them home so that they can find some peace.”
Dr Carey stated in a tweet that he was “overwhelmed” at the massive surge of support shown towards the Go-Fund me campaign. “We have been overwhelmed at the response to our campaign to raise funds for our friends. People are simply amazing. We will continue to raise funds for a while as every cent will be utilized to help the families of Karzan and Shahen,” he wrote.
NUI Galway President Ciarán Ó hOgartaigh has described Karzan’s loss as a “shocking tragedy.”
Speaking to SIN, he stated “We mark with great sadness and great regret, the passing of our NUI Galway PhD student Karzan Sabah Ahmed, his wife Shahen Qasm and their baby Lina. I know our entire university community was very upset by this shocking tragedy on our roads, and we are particularly moved to be opening a new academic year with that sadness in mind.”
President Ó hOgartaigh also added that his passing was one of the saddest events he could recall in his time as an academic.
“We know that when people who are kind and gentle come among us, that even though they may be gone, they are always with us. We would particularly like to mark Karzan’s contribution to us not only as a researcher, but as a colleague and a friend, and we are very saddened by his passing.”