Local News

'Three Winners Day' honors Chapel Hill shooting victims with volunteer opportunities

Posted January 31, 2018 9:55 p.m. EST
Updated February 1, 2018 5:13 a.m. EST

— Deah Barakat, his wife, Yusor Abu-Salha, and her sister, Razan, are known as the “Three Winners” for their legacy of giving and Wednesday night the Chapel Hill Town Council honored them with a proclamation.

Feb. 10, 2015 was a date that changed their families’ lives forever, when the trio was shot to death at a Chapel Hill apartment complex. Neighbor Craig Stephen Hicks was charged with murder in connection with the crime and could face the death penalty if convicted.

“It’s still difficult, day to day. I just feel like this dark cloud because of the trial,” said Deah Barakat’s brother, Farris Barakat.

Now, Feb. 10 will take on a different meaning for Farris Barakat and other loved ones as the Town of Chapel Hill proclaimed the date as “Three Winners Day.” For family, friends and loved ones who admired Deah, Yusor and Razan, Feb. 10 will now be a joyful day.

“I think to myself, ‘What would I do to make them proud?’ I think my responsibility is really volunteering my time,” said friend Aaruba Ayesha.

“Carrying on and living our lives in the best way possible, just the way Yusor and Razan lived, so we want to focus on that,” said friend Nida Allam.

At the time of their deaths, Deah and Yusor were working on Project Refugee Smiles, using their training in dentistry to help in places like Syria. That act of kindness is now being carried out by Farris Barakat and other friends and loved ones in honor of their legacy.

“Anything like this, the endowment, anything their friends have done, speaks to the individuals they were,” Farris Barakat said.

Several volunteer opportunities are planned for Feb. 10 in honor of “Three Winners Day.”

The trial for Hicks was originally supposed to start this month but, at last check, the Barakat family said it had been pushed back to April.