A suicide bombing hit Kabul. And then a phone rang in Ottawa.

It’s the phone call that so many Afghan Canadians dread. There’s another suicide bombing back in Kabul, and you wait, and you hope that the call doesn’t come, but Mohammad Yasir Mehrzad’s telephone rang shortly after last Sunday’s suicide bombing at a voter registration office in the Dasht-e-Barchi district of Kabul. Among the 60 dead were Mehrzad’s father and two uncles.

The 32-year-old Mehrzad, who works as a technician in an Ottawa auto body shop, dropped everything he was...

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