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UNC Muslim Students Association to honor legacy of 'Our Three Winners'

Muslim Student Association
Muslim Student Association

The event, MSA Live: The Legacy of Our Three Winners, will be held on Oct. 14 in the Great Hall of the Student Union.

The three victims Deah Barakat, Yusor Abu Salha and Razan Abu Salha were killed in a nearby apartment, and together they are known as the Our Three Winners.

The event will include speakers Linda Sarsour, a civil rights activist, and Farris Barakat, the brother of Deah Barakat.

Ahmad Tejan-Sie, outreach co-chairperson of UNC MSA, said Linda Sarsour is a prominent social justice activist. He said she is very well known in the triangle area and UNC MSA thought she would contribute a lot to the event.

“We wanted to host an event centering around Our Three Winners because it’s such an important issue in Chapel Hill,” Tejan-Sie said.

Youssef Zarrouk, outreach co-chairperson of UNC MSA, said the group wanted to hold an event to increase their outreach.

He said he became an outreach co-chairperson in an effort to make people aware of the presence of Muslims at UNC and the discrimination they face.

“I want to show that this type of hate and hate crimes can really happen in your own backyard,” Zarrouk said.

As for Tejan-Sie, he said he wants to stress the importance of forming relationships with minorities and believes in outreach to help make these relationships.

“We are trying to publicize it to a wide variety of people,” Tejan-Sie said.

MSA Live will give people the opportunity to learn what happened to the three victims and to discuss the positive effects that came out of the tragedy, Tejan-Sie said. UNC MSA wants people to know that issues, such as discrimination, can play a role at UNC.

The event will also serve as an opportunity to reach out to students who weren’t at UNC when the shooting occurred, Zarrouk said. He wants the chance for students who aren’t aware or do not know much about the tragic event to know what happened, since Barakat was a dental student at UNC and Yusor Abu Salha would have started at the dental school in the fall.

“This is our way of making sure that the community can grow from the tragedy,” Zarrouk said.

UNC MSA holds a banquet every fall, but this year, Tejan-Sie said UNC MSA wants to hold a dialogue during the banquet, so it will be known that people can come back from such a tragedy.

“The support from the campus community afterwards was so heart-warming that it inspired me to reach out to all of these people and see if we can get more support like how I received,” Tejan-Sie said.

Tejan-Sie was a first-year student at UNC during the time of the Chapel Hill shooting and said the community’s support helped him during the times of grief.

Ayoub Ouederni, the president of UNC MSA, said he welcomes all UNC students to come to the event.

“We just want to use this as a get-together for the entire community to come together in remembrance for what happened and steps we can take to further make UNC the best place it can be for everybody,” Ouederni said.

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