By Zahra El Alami
By Zahra El Alami
New York – In the wake of today’s tragic event, there seems to be distress on how to react to such a horrendous act. Should we be angry? Should we be silent? Should we speak up? Does it even matter? The murder of three innocent Muslim students sends waves of fear and grief across our community.
Video of Deah Shaddy Barakat raising funds for the Syrian refugee trip
But today, we choose strength and love. Today, we are not going to fall victim to hate. We will not give in to the fact that we all walk in fear because of our Faith. Today, we will honor and celebrate the three incredible, loving and selfless lives that were taken away from our community way too soon. The young lives that spent their time and effort to serve their community and share pure joy and smiles across the world.
“I hope this ends very very soon,” Deah Shaddy Barakat’s September Facebook post said about a YouTube video on people’s perception of Islam vs. terrorism. A little over four months later, he fell victim to a hate crime.
Although he was your everyday 23-year-old student who was obsessed with basketball and funny YouTube videos, he was also an exemplary individual, son, brother, husband and friend. His concerns for the well-being of others were very clear across all of his social media pages. The UNC dental student served his community in any way he could.
As of yesterday, he helped raise over $44,000 for his trip to Turkey this summer to help Syrian refugees with their dental needs. His social media posts show pictures and posts of him constantly helping the homeless by passing out food and dental supplies.
Deah’s newly-wed was also one of the victims. Yusor Mohammad was a 21-year-old senior at North Carolina State University and future dental student. She and Deah had just gotten married a little over a month before this tragic incident took place. She was a loving daughter and big sister to the third victim, Razan Mohammed Abu-Salha who was only 19. While they both shared their experiences in NCSU as students, the sisters also shared the love of giving back to the community and being involved on campus.
Although we may never understand the motive behind this heinous act , today we can look back and celebrate the students’ lives and the good they have done in the short time they had here.