Condolences Letter to Abu-Salha and Barakat Families

Originally circulated 02/15/15

To the Abu-Salha and Barakat Families
From Palestinian Youth Movement of the United States of America (PYM USA)

Dear Abu-Salha and Barakat Family Members,

We would like to express our deepest and utmost condolences to you all. The grief, pain, and sorrow of your loss is felt collectively within our communities, as evidenced by the vigils, and commemorations that have occurred and continue to occur worldwide.

The lives of Razan, Yusor, and Deah are ones to always be remembered and cherished. Their legacies are affirmed by their commitment to service: by the countless Syrians and Palestinians refugees that were given dental care and friendship, by the act of providing resources to homeless and disenfranchised people in North Carolina, and by representing Muslims and Arabs through creativity and strong moral character, to name a few. At the time of writing this letter, Project: Refugee Smiles has received an astonishing $482,530, which many people donated in honor of Razan, Yusor, and Deah’s memory. This is indicative of the impact and influence your children had in their community and the reverberating effects their legacy and light will have in this world -- where the integrity, selflessness, and service exemplified in Razan, Yusor, and Deah is in short supply.

Moreover, the strength, courage, and character you’ve all shown when engaging the media is remarkable. Despite this being a tremendously difficult and painful time, you all have upheld the spirit and light of Razan, Yusor, and Deah’s lives; your measured patience and generosity is nothing short of inspiring. Whether you all realize it or not, your comments and kindness have disrupted the media’s portrayal of Muslims worldwide and exposed the media’s irresponsible trivialization of Islamophobia. We commend you, we are grateful for your strength and efforts, and we are in solidarity with all of you and your words.

Over the last few weeks you all have expressed your wishes that community members highlight and honor Razan, Yusor, and Deah’s work and service; as PYM USA, this is exactly what we intend to do. We will continue their legacies by struggling for justice, through community service, and working towards an inclusive, safe, loving society.

Perhaps the light Razan, Yusor, and Deah emanated was too bright for this world. We do know for sure however, that the light they left behind is already making the world a more livable place. We are so sorry for your loss and are heartbroken that these political lessons are realized as a result of such immense personal loss. We pray that your families find comfort and support in the loving community you’ve all helped to build. While we find solace in knowing that Razan, Yusor, and Deah are resting with no pain, struggle, or worries, we are equally burdened and inspired by the work we have ahead of us to uphold their legacy.

To God we belong and to God we shall return...

Inspired by your strength and courage,
alestinian Youth Movement -- United States of America