Dentist killed in Lisburn had fled war-torn Syria

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The Syrian dentist who died following a road traffic accident in Lisburn on Wednesday has been named.

Mohamed Mahfouz Bali, 47, a father-of-four, had arrived in Northern Ireland a year ago to join his wife and four children after they fled the war-torn city of Aleppo.

He recently received a lot of recent media attention after he and his family were forced to flee Syria where he worked as a dentist for 23 years.

Mayfouz was working in a Lisburn factory making blinds to support his family.

His wife Abir and their four children arrived in 2013.

He had worked for over 20 years as a dentist and he had recently been the subject of a fundraising appeal to help him raise the £6,000 needed to sit a UK certified dentistry examination.

Mayfouz was cycling to work on Wednesday when he was involved in a collision with a lorry at around 2.25pm.

Police said he died following the collision on the Knockmore Road.

UUP councillor Robbie Butler, a friend of the family said, “Situations like this can bring tremendous emotional, financial and practical burdens,” he said. “I am sure the community will rally around at this time.”

Mahfouz along with his wife Abir were forced at gunpoint from their home in Aleppo in Syria. When he settled in Northern Ireland, a fundraising drive got under way for him to use his dental skills.

Local businessman Mark Feeney, Northern Ireland Director for the Tech Partnership set up a crowdfunding page to help fund the UK-certified dentistry exam.

Mahfouz was due to complete his examination in May and hoped to be certified and practising by July.

Mahfouz and Abir recently spoke about the horrors they fled from and their new lives in Northern Ireland.

“I told my wife because she has a foreign passport to go there and find safety for my children - anything, I told her - I’m ready to pay everything I have because there is no future in Syria within this war,” he said.