In the days since three Muslim college students were killed in Chapel Hill, much debate has taken place regarding whether the shootings were a hate crime. But what is now abundantly clear is that the three who died—Deah Shaddy Barakat, 23, his wife, Yusor Abu-Salha, 21, and her sister, Razan Mohammad Abu-Salha—were remarkable young people full of promise, and that the world is unequivocally worse off with their loss.
Deah Barakat was a dental student at the University of North Carolina who had also founded a charity to help provide dental care to Syrian refugees. In May, his wife Yusor went to the studios of WUNC, the local public radio station, to record a segment with her 3rd grade teacher for StoryCorps. Hearing Yusor's voice—bright, clear, confident, youthful—is haunting given the events of last week. Hearing her teacher say that Yusor and her husband "will be together for the rest of your life, Inshallah," will break your heart.