February 25, 2020

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Final act of love for family

Slain teen wills kidney to sister

Hey there, time traveller!
This article was published 2/4/2011 (3250 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.

Even in death, the devotion Abdul Jemei had for his family shone through. In a final act of love, the young man who was stabbed to death last month had willed an organ to his ailing sister.

"He left me a kidney," explained Hana Jemei, 21, who suffers from kidney disease.

People mourn for Abdul Jemei, a young immigrant who was killed March 16, at a memorial service at IRCOM on Saturday.

JOHN.WOODS@FREEPRESS.MB.CA

People mourn for Abdul Jemei, a young immigrant who was killed March 16, at a memorial service at IRCOM on Saturday.

"When I found out (they removed his kidney), I'm going crazy, saying 'who allowed them to take that?' And it was him."

More than 70 people crammed into a room at the Immigrant and Refugee Community Organization of Manitoba (IRCOM) offices Saturday afternoon to grieve the loss of the 19-year-old tragically taken from Winnipeg's African community last month.

Jemei was stabbed to death while walking with a friend near Portage Avenue and Vaughan Street on the night of March 16. The friend, who was also stabbed, survived the attack. A 16-year-old youth and 24-year-old Ramsey Swain have been charged with second-degree murder.

Jemei, his parents and siblings moved to Canada from Sudan in 2005. His loved ones describe him as a friendly, energetic youth who loved soccer and was extremely devoted to his family.

"He always had that cute smile on his face," said younger sister, Nuria. "If you're mad, he'd help you smile."

Jemei worked at a pizza restaurant to help support his family and was set to become a supervisor there just before he was killed.

He was also a role model for the community's young people, working as the youngest youth mentor at the Welcome Place for two years. On Saturday, friends and family got up to share memories of the beloved young man as attendees hugged each other and wept.

People mourn for Abdul Jemei, a young immigrant who was killed March 16, at a memorial service at IRCOM on Saturday.

JOHN.WOODS@FREEPRESS.MB.CA

People mourn for Abdul Jemei, a young immigrant who was killed March 16, at a memorial service at IRCOM on Saturday.

Jemei's 10-year-old twin brothers each took a timid turn in front of the crowd to share a few words, with great composure.

"Abdul was my big brother and he always tell me men don't cry," said Ibrhim. "And I'm trying."

"He was the best brother anyone could ever have," whispered Iman.

Family and friends are concerned the media's limited coverage of Jemei's death has implied he had gang involvement, an assumption they say is inaccurate.

They believe the clothing he was wearing may have made him a mistaken target.

"Abdul wasn't in any gangs. He doesn't even know those guys (that attacked him)," said Hana, through sobs. "My brother told me every little thing. We were best friends."

Police told the Free Press in March they don't believe the teen they've arrested is connected to gangs, but did say he had a "significant" history with police.

sandy.klowak@freepress.mb.ca

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