Musthafa Ebadi
#OttawaStrong
by Musthafa Ebadi on October 22nd, 2014

For those of you know me or follow me on social media you all know one thing that I am very loud and proud about is my home town: Ottawa!

Even though I moved to Toronto 6 years ago I still go back every weekend because my family and 3 of my 5 best friends are in Ottawa. Its where I feel at peace, relaxed, and laid back. I find it the cleanest, friendliest, and nicest place on earth.  And it’s the home of my passion – my beloved Ottawa Senators!

The other thing that you may or may not know is that I normally don’t show emotions. But there was nothing normal about today! Its started like one, waking up at 5, going to gym, heading to work after, working while sipping coffee, looking outside the windows of my office, and looking forward to the hockey game between my beloved Ottawa Senators and the Stinking Toronto Maple Leafs. 
Just another normal day….. another normal day till few minutes past 10:00AM when I started reading about shooting in Ottawa. 

For the next few hours I didn’t know how to react! To be sad for what was transpiring or to be angry at those who did.
To be helpless because I was far away from the people I love and the city I adore or to be astonished that such a thing could happen in the city that I felt the safest.


One thought that was in my head throughout the day was I wish I was in Ottawa today. I know I wouldn’t have made a difference but to  be in my city when tragedy struck would have made a difference to me.  The other thought was that we will come out of this stronger than ever!

Later there were videos of officers firing inside the Parliament Hill and then armed personnel running in and around Rideau Centre. There was also the news that everyone was hoping against of Corporal Nathan Cirillo succumbing to his injuries. A father in his mid 20s literally Standing on Guard for Canada!  

The NHL rightfully cancelled the game since in a small town like Ottawa this was our 9/11. Someone tweeted that for once both Ottawa Senators  & Toronto Maple Leafs ( I will not call them stinking today) were united and I just wished it was under better circumstances.
The Pittsburgh Penguins announced that they will play national anthem of Canada before the game with their arch rivals even though no Canadian team was playing and after watching the tribute I don’t dislike them as much as I used to after few playoff battles against them.

Everyone at work was talking about tragedy in Ottawa and everytime they mentioned it my heart would rip.

I never wanted Ottawa to be center of conversation for wrong reasons.  I was finally done work and came home to change and go play poker. I couldn’t wait to start playing and focus on something else.But even at poker the topic of discussion was my beloved Ottawa and again for wrong reasons.

By this evening the identity of the gunman was leaked and few uninformed and ignorant people attributed it to Islam. They don’t know that slam didn't rein terror in Ottawa today. If we were to believe the same descriptions that they are reading/listening to the person who committed this heinous act was someone who was born and raised in our country, was jailed twice for violence,  and then willfully converted to become a Muslim to do something that is 100% against Islam. But I was in no mood to argue with them as I was still thinking about my city and its wonderful people!

I then heard the speeches by our PM, the leaders of opposition parties, and while I agree with them that we shouldn’t bend to these radicals and our resolve in face of this should be stronger I come from a culture of accountability. I wanted to hear more. I wanted to hear who is taking responsibility and who will be accountable to put our national security at risk. That probably is a question for another day.

I have been impacted so much by the events of today that I literally left my chips on the table, paid my bill, and left to come home.

I decided to write down to make me feel better since I don’t talk about emotions. To write how a day that started normally with jokes and chatter with friends in the gym ended with such a sadness. 

I tried to focus as much as I could but my emotions got the best of me today since I felt my home was under attack and I was helpless. I have rarely feel sad but today I did….. very sad, very helpless, and very angry.

As  I retreat to bed I know I will wake up stronger tomorrow, and while I will never ever forget today I will put one foot ahead of the other, hope and pray that those who are responsible for act of terror in Ottawa and around the world are destroyed and wiped from the face of this earth.

Pierre Lebrun of TSN said to those who are attending Saturday’s game in Ottawa to belt out O’ Canada for the whole nation and to let it rip. I will do my part this weekend at Canadian Tire Center  for Pierre and rest of Canada!

Good night and like I have said all day #OttawaStrong!


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