ON SEPTEMBER 30, WHEN ABDULAHI SHARIF allegedly rammed a police officer with a car, then stabbed him, and then ran down four pedestrians on Jasper Avenue behind the wheel of a U-Haul, the entire city was left in shock. But did the attack, which police have described as terrorism, really terrorize our downtown? We caught up with a few businesses close to where the attack happened to find out.
No sensationalism at Matrix
Olaf Miede, general manager of the Matrix Hotel, said his focus after the attack has been to ensure staff and guests feel safe. But is there a lingering feeling of terror? No.
“From my side, calling it a terror attack [seems extreme]. There’s lots of stuff going on in the world, and sometimes we over-exaggerate it. We want to work with the police and take it seriously, but still, there’s nobody here that’s going ‘Oh my god, I can’t work at the Matrix anymore and I have PTSD.’ There’s no sensationalism here. I look at it more as, you had a police chase and sometimes we [overemphasize] the nationality of who’s involved and create something out of it that creates a lot of fear, and fear mongering.”
Community strengthened at Central Social Hall
Neil Wolsegger, operating partner of Central Social Hall, said the attack might have back-fired, as it has only strengthened Edmonton’s sense of community.
“After the night it actually happened, there wasn’t a ton of buzz about anything going on in regards to terror, in my opinion. From people I’ve talked to, staff and customers, I think the Edmonton community is just way too strong to let that kind of negativity creep in. Obviously it’s a terrible thing that happened, and the people that were affected by it directly, I couldn’t even imagine to walk one inch in their shoes today. But as a business operator in downtown Edmonton it really hasn’t affected us at all. I think people just kind of bonded together and refused to let that kind of stuff creep in.”