Education

UNC dental school award set up in memory of slain Muslim students

Deah Barakat in Project Refugee Smiles video

Watch Deah Barakat, one of three victims in a shooting in Chapel Hill, NC. Bracket, a dental student at the University of North Carolina, was active in providing relief to Syrian refugees. Craig Stephen Hicks has been charged in the murders of B
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Watch Deah Barakat, one of three victims in a shooting in Chapel Hill, NC. Bracket, a dental student at the University of North Carolina, was active in providing relief to Syrian refugees. Craig Stephen Hicks has been charged in the murders of B

A fund for UNC dental students has been set up in memory of Muslim students slain in a Chapel Hill shooting earlier this year.

UNC-Chapel Hill and the Dental Foundation of North Carolina have established an endowment of $60,000 in the names of Dean Barakat and Yusor Abu-Salha, who were killed in their Chapel Hill apartment in February along with Abu-Salha’s sister, Razan, a student at N.C. State University. Barakat was a second-year dental student at UNC, where his wife Yusor Abu-Salha, was due to enroll this year.

The fund will be used for awards to UNC dental students or groups of students who embark on a local, national or international service project. Barakat and Abu-Salha had been involved in helping the homeless and serving in dental clinics to treat refugee children in the Middle East.

The Deah Barakat and Yusor Abu-Salha Memorial Award will be presented for the first time this fall. It was established in consultation with the Barakat and Abu-Salha families.

“Deah and Yusor led lives of great purpose, and this fund is a fitting tribute to their humanitarian devotions,” Chancellor Carol L. Folt said in a statement. “Through this award, the Carolina community is honoring their legacy of creating a more compassionate world through dentistry and delivering aid to those who are most vulnerable and in need.”

Craig Hicks, a neighbor of Barakat and Abu-Salha, is charged with first-degree murder in the killings. Prosecutors have said they would pursue the death penalty if Hicks is convicted.

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