The Center for Arab American Philanthropy (CAAP) mourns the terrible and tragic killing of three young Muslim Americans at the hands of a ruthless shooter Tuesday, Feb. 10 in Chapel Hill, NC. In this senseless act of violence, a young couple—Deah Barakat, 23, and his wife Yusor Mohammad, 21—and Mohammad’s sister, Razan Mohammad Abu-Salha, 19, were allegedly shot in the head by a Chapel Hill man who later turned himself in to police.

To honor the victims, we at CAAP would like to take the time to highlight these individuals and their generosity and kindness.

Razan Mohammad Abu-Salha, 19, was a first year student in architecture and environmental design at North Carolina State University. She participated in a fundraiser for victims of the Palestinian conflict in 2014 and served as an officer for United Muslim Relief, a humanitarian nonprofit dedicated to providing aid to underprivileged and under-served communities globally.

Yusor Mohammad Abu-Salha, 21, was a North Carolina State University graduate with a biological sciences degree. She was the older sister of Razan, and married Deah Barakat in December of 2014. In 2013, Yusor traveled to Turkey to volunteer with Syrian refugees at a dental facility. Like her younger sister, she was involved with United Muslim Relief, being part of the founding team of the group’s chapter in North Carolina.

Deah Barakat, 23, was a dental student who dedicated his work to help the less fortunate. Like his wife and her younger sister, he was also involved with the group United Muslim Relief. He was also known for distributing dental supplies to the homeless of Durham, North Carolina. He wished to travel to Turkey this summer to provide dental aide to Syrian refugees displaced by the country’s civil war. He had hopes of educating children on the
importance of dental hygiene, while providing necessary dental care to them. He dubbed the project “Refugee Smiles”, creating a video encouraging people to support and donate to the project. Following Deah’s untimely death, an out-pour of donations supporting Deah’s wishes followed; as of this writing, the project has received a total of over $238,000 in contributions, far exceeding the goal of $20,000. If you would like to contribute and show your support to Deah’s cause, please follow this link.

Deah, Yusor, and Razan should serve as an inspiration to all of us, as they were caring and gave back to their community. We would like to offer our condolences to the families of the victims of this tragedy. We urge everyone to show their support for the victims and their families in any way they can, and to remember these individuals for the generous and caring people that they were.

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