The founder of the Lebanese Canoe Kayak Federation, Ali Mohammed Awada, has been killed in an apparent bungled robbery. This has caused commotion in the international canoeing community.
Awada was a famous kayaker and rafter from Lebanon, and had worked constantly to promote this sport in the country. He served as the secretary-general of the Federation he founded, and also founded the local Al-Kharady Canoe-Kayak and Rafting Club, which was headquartered at his home, close to one of Lebanon’s longest rivers: the Litani River.
His dead body was found in his residence, and local police has reported he is the victim of a possible burglary that went wrong. ICF President, Thomas Konietzko, has expressed his sadness on social media as the world loses one of the hardest workers towards canoe awareness:
“The entire canoe family is horrified by the violent death of Ali Mohammed Awada and mourns him. He was one of the driving forces behind the development of canoeing in the region, and built a stable federation in Lebanon.”
“He was a role model for many canoeists in Lebanon and for other countries who want to establish our sport.” -Mr. Konietzko.
Canoeing was for Awada the center of his life, and besides founding the Canoe Federation in Lebanon he also served as a technical director of the French Olympic Team. In 1995 he moved to Lebanon to introduce canoeing and kayaking in this country, helping unite the population after their 20 years of civil war.
The body of Ali Mohammed Awada, who lived in the southern village of Khiyam, was discovered at his home near Al-Kharadly Bridge. Forensic examiner Ali Deeb has said in local news that the victim had been stabbed in the left side of his chest, causing him to bleed in his lungs, and determining the cause of death.
It is believed Awada tried to defend himself from the attack as there are signs of bruising in his body. The police are still investigating the incident and the people involved in the apparent robbery.
On Nautical Channel we mourn the death of Ali Mohammed Awada and would like to transmit our condolences to his family and friends. He will be dearly missed in the international canoeing community.
Images from Lebanese Canoe Federation and ICF