One Year on from Chapel Hill Shooting
The 10th February 2015 will forever be a date of sadness and pain in the Muslim community, not just in America, but around the world. This dark day robbed, not just the Muslim community, but America as a whole of three change makers who were driven by their faith to make a difference. This day highlighted that Islamophobia was no longer a myth, but a growing reality that Muslims in the West need to wake up to.
As we commemorate one year on from Chapel Hill, it is our duty to celebrate the lives and continue the legacy of “Our Three Winners” – brother Deah Barakat, his new wife Yusor & sister Razan. Brother Deah was a third-year dental student at the University of North Carolina School of Dentistry. His wife, Yusor, who was beginning her second semester of dental school whilst Deah’s younger sister Razan was about to graduate from North Carolina State. Three incredible people who were on the way to achieving great things, brother Deah and his wife Yusor often discussed the idea to establish their own dental practice.
It is fitting that a community centre has been opened in their honour by Deah’s brother, Farris Barakat called the “Light House
Project”. When talking about the centre, Farris Barakat told CNN; “When we were brainstorming on what to do, my mom sent me a tweet that Deah had written out like a year before his death, and it described his dream of having a community where we could help the youth with whatever projects they were taking on.” The community Centre consists of a study room, prayer room, open office space & resource centre. A year on from seeing their dreams of opening their own dentistry stolen from them, the UNC School of dentistry framed Deah and Yusor’s white coats in their honour.
“Change Makers Die, but their Legacy lives on”
Imams and religious leaders in America have a great history of being connected with the community and play an important role in raising awareness & making a difference. Imams across American stood up in outrage a year ago when these innocent souls were taken by a terrorist, a year on these same Imams are driven to continue the legacy of “Our Three Winners”.
Shaykh Suhaib Webb said yesterday, “On February 10th 2015 we lost incredible legacy builders, three change makers, three drops whose ripple effect is felt till this day. United Muslim Relief as well as the Barakat family created a website (http://ourthreewinners.org/) go see how you can see how you can keep their legacy alive. The legacy of providing dental healthcare for the world poor, alleviating the crisis of homelessness in America – that was the cause of these three victims, that was the cause of these three change makers, that was the cause of these three drops. Lets help the ripple continue to touch of hearts of people around us”.
A year on, the pain and sadness is still there, but we have to stay strong and celebrate their lives & fulfil their dreams.
Source: CNN, Al Jazeera.