Saturday, April 21, 2007

The unsung hero of the Virginia Tech massacre

Why haven't you heard about this brave person, but get endless coverage of the American professor who left Israel 20 years ago? Simple. He's a Muslim.
Waleed Shaalan

Waleed Shaalan, a 32-year-old graduate student, came to the United States from northern Egypt last year to study engineering. He lived among other Egyptian students in Blacksburg, Va., and was planning on bringing his wife and one-and-a-half-year-old son to America in May to live with him.

He was gunned down on Monday while he was studying in Norris Hall, but witnesses say he died a hero.

According to Randy Dymond, a civil engineering professor at Virginia Tech, Mr. Shaalan was in a classroom with another student when the gunman entered and opened fire.

Mr. Shaalan was badly wounded and lay beside the other student, who was not shot but played dead, as the gunman returned two times searching for signs of life. Just as the gunman noticed the student, Mr. Shaalan made a move to distract him, at which point he was shot a second time and died. The student believed that Mr. Shaalan purposefully distracted the shooter to save him, Mr. Dymond said.

"Waleed was bright, energetic and caring," Mr. Dymond said. "The reason we are in higher education is because there are students who are the bright light to the future. Waleed was one of them."

Equally social and studious, Mr. Shaalan was active in the Muslim Student Association at Virginia Tech, and he especially enjoyed participating in the group's community activities.

The Egyptian Consul has notified Mr.Shalaan's wife and parents, all of who live in Egypt. Mr. Shaalan's body will be flown back to his country in the near future, the vice consul, Mohamed Elghazawy, said.

"This is a very emotional time for his entire family, but especially his mother and father," Mr. Elghazawy said.


Anonymous said...

We say our condolence to Mr. Shaiaa's wife and family and friends. He was a good person. Amin. Tariq Ahmed.

Marc Parent mparent7777 mparent CCNWON said...


Roger G said...

Thank Allah ( or God as he is known to many ) for people like Mr. Shaalan. They are the true heroes in our society. Anyone who gives his life for another deserves all praise and honor. I hope the student he helped save goes on to live a good life and tries to bring peace to all.

Anonymous said...

I wish I was one capable of finding the right words to say to his loved ones about such a brave selfless hero...but I cannot. What a loss for them and our world!

Carol Rae Bradford said...

How sad that so much attention is paid to a couple of Jewish people who were shot, but nothing came out about this young Muslim man from Egypt who had family.

Contrast: We didn't hear anything about any Jewish people dying in the 9/11 attack on the Towers, did we? Didn't someone say that they warned were warned not to come to work that day?

Anonymous said...

The priest at St Mary's Orthodox Church in Cambridge, Mass offered a prayer for all who died in the attack receiting each name.

Anonymous said...

_Please, in a time like this it is more important than ever that Muslim's rise up together. Not for confrontation but for support. Many people died, the gunman cared less if you were buddhist or jewish. He shot out of hate, everytime you bring up the racial divide you allow yourself to be drawn into that hateful battle. You're better than that...respect everyone and don't turn this into a muslim/christian crime.

Amad said...

Can you pls consider adding a tid-bit to your blog about this... we want to get as many ppl to pay their tribute as possible so this can be a memorial that the family can treasure inshallah...

Waleed Shaalan’s Tribute on MM to be Delivered to Family

Inshallah, we plan to print out all the tributes/comments posted for Br. Waleed and package them nicely to send to his family, as a small memorial.

Please continue post your comments/duas/thoughts on the tribute entry: Linked here or see below. The cut-off date will be April 30 (Monday) by 5PM, at which point we will print all comments out that have been posted (you can continue to comment past that, but it may not go into the print-out what is to be delivered to the family).


Anonymous said...

Actually, Waleed Shaalan saved THREE lives. See the video at this link:

TIME magazine refused to include him in its cover photos of the victims and Wikipedia is planning to delete an article about his heroism

pumpkin said...

I wish that people would not make comments about the ethnicity of victims to say "this was less fair or more fair" or whatever pointless point you think you are making. What difference does it make? Do you not see that attitude only furthers and intensifies the divisiveness we have in this country! Just stop doing it! It makes no difference where they were from - pain is pain in any language. Are you so ignorant you cannot see what you are doing? Do you get a little thrill out of aggravating an already tense situation? Use your mind, if you have one! I speak to Muslims, Jews, Christians, whatever. You only exacerbate open wounds -you do not heal.