Two years ago this month, three Muslim college students were killed in their Chapel Hill home, a crime that drew international attention to the college town.
Family and friends were left to mourn the victims - newlyweds Deah Shaddy Barakat and Yusor Mohammad Abu-Salha and Yusor's younger sister, Razan Mohammad Abu-Salha. But they also are working hard to honor the memories of three people who had given so much to their communities.
Among those friends are Raleigh natives Shadi Sadi and Amani Asad, now husband and wife. Asad grew up with Barakat's family and went to school with him. Sadi, Asad and Barakat also grew up attending the same mosque and religious functions.
"Deah was always there for us if we ever needed him," Sadi tells me.
They are part of the group behind the NC Interfaith Food Drive in honor of Deah, Yusor and Razan. It's set for 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., Feb. 25, at the Islamic Association of Raleigh, 808 Atwater St.
I checked in with Sadi and Asad, who are raising their own three kids here in Raleigh, to learn more about their friends, the loss and efforts to honor them. Here's a Q&A:
Go Ask Mom: You lost three friends in the Chapel Hill shooting two years ago. Tell us about what they were like and their important work in the Triangle community and beyond.
This drive rallies the community around one common goal of helping those in need. We always think about a StoryCorps interview that Yusor gave where she said, "Growing up in America has been such a blessing… the beautiful thing here is that it doesn't matter where you come from. There's so many different people from so many different places of different backgrounds and religions — but here we're all one, one culture. And it's beautiful to see people of different areas interacting, and being family. Being, you know, one community."
GAM: How can people help?
Sadi and Asad: The food drive will run from now through Feb. 25. On Saturday, Feb. 25, we will have a huge U-Haul truck parked in the Islamic Association of Raleigh’s parking lot where we will be collecting non-perishable items to take to the Food Bank of Central and Eastern North Carolina. Last year, the community donated enough to provide over 26,000 meals to hungry families. We would like it to be even higher this year!
People can help by:
- Inviting all their friends to our Facebook event
- Getting their work or organization to participate in the drive or just individually collect to bring items out on Saturday.
- If you can’t make it on Saturday there is always the option of donating online through our Virtual Drive on the Food Bank's website.
Go Ask Mom features local parents every Monday.