Community plants symbol of peace in teen’s memory

BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) – Buffalo’s Iraqi American community joined together Monday to plant a symbol of peace.

Members of Ameer Al Shammari’s family were at the YWCA garden on Grant Street to plant a tree in the teen’s memory. Ameer was killed last month.

Iraqi American Society Board Member Riyam Wannas said, “A lot of children are suffering because of what’s going on in Iraq. And us as the Iraqi American Society, we’re trying to be supportive to the whole community. So this was great for Ameer’s family and as a reminder of all the suffering all the children go through in Iraq and other parts of the world that go through war.”

Jean Sanchez, 13, was charged in the case and pleaded not guilty to second-degree murder charges. If convicted, Sanchez faces a minimum of five years to life and a maximum of nine years to life behind bars.

Ameer and his family moved to the United States from Iraq just 18 months before the teen was killed. provides commenting to allow for constructive discussion on the stories we cover. In order to comment here, you acknowledge you have read and agreed to our Terms of Service. Commenters who violate these terms, including use of vulgar language or racial slurs, will be banned. Please be respectful of the opinions of others. If you see an inappropriate comment, please flag it for our moderators to review. Note: Comments containing links are not allowed.

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