Collective Pain Towards a Collective Future by J. Coco

“We cannot be selective activist anymore,” the words of both Majdal Ismail and Blair Brown spoke so much truth to the fact that we’re all in this fight together. Instead of only standing up for causes with which we are able to directly identify, we must realize that we possess the same humanity as those facing injustice locally, nationally, and all over the world.


Majdal Ismail speaks at the Vigil for Deah, Yusor, and Razan

In all honesty, we need to fully embrace the collective experiences of those around us, those who are different from us, and those with whom we do not directly identify. As I witnessed at this vigil, it is imperative to make ourselves present (not central) in the struggles of others; we have to let our brothers and sisters know that we are here for their triumphs, and also for their tragedies.

The loss of OurThreeWinners has become a uniting force for a community in the midst of heartache. The evening’s speakers provided insight into the experiences of the Muslim, Palestinian, and Syrian community. As we mourned the killing of Deah, Yusor, and Razan, we came together as a community. Faran Saeed, graduate advisor to the Muslim Student Association, stressed the importance of recognizing that regardless of our descriptors, Muslim, Christian, Syrian, Black, Palestinian, White, we are all people first. Acknowledging the humanity of those who differ from us is the key to achieving greater levels of truth and compassion. When this is achieved we can celebrate diversity, we can respect the uniqueness of various cultures, and we can all move together towards a more perfect union.

Faran Saeed speaks at the Vigil for Deah, Yusor, and Razan

Faran Saeed speaks at the Vigil for Deah, Yusor, and Razan

As it was stated at the vigil, we need to actively try to better know one another, make friendships, talk, and strengthen our bonds. If we can be with one another when we are vulnerable, then we can be with one another when we are strong.  We can then share with each other the nuances of the human condition.

Rest in power Deah Shaddy Barakat, Yusor Mohammad, and Razan Mohammad Abu-Salha, we will continue your legacy of service, and carry your memory in our hearts. We celebrate your lives, your activism, and your truths. OurThreeWinners


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