Razan Abu-Salha, Architecture Student: A Small Memorial

The shooting deaths of three young people in North Carolina has been in the news the last few days. What we've not talked about here is that Razan Abu-Salha, the youngest victim, was an architecture student.

I feel completely unqualified to write a memorial for Razan. I didn't know her, never met her, am terrified I might write something that she or her surviving family would find incorrect or offensive. But as a graduate of architecture school, I can't help but feel some kinship.  We all -everyone reading this - went to school, we all know the challenge and connectivity of working together in studio. When I first heard Razan was an architecture student, my immediate thought was of her studio mates, and the horrible loss of her presence they must feel.

As I read more about Razan it seems that loss must be enormous. Every article I've found about her talks about her humor, how funny she always was, and how compassionate and helpful to fellow students. Her Twitter feed and Vines she has posted certainly show her as someone who loved to laugh. She won a contest with a timelapse video of making a model in studio, wearing her NCSU sweatshirt and appearing every bit the dedicated, knowledgeable, and fun studio mate of the type we all know or remember and enjoy from our own time in school.

I also pondered whether to post this memorial as a News item or in the Forums. I decided on the Forums because it feels to me like a community moment. Imagine yourself in studio, years ago or right now, and one of your mates is one day gone in a completely senseless act. NCSU students, I'm sorry for all your loss, and I'm sorry for our architecture community's loss of a woman who by all accounts would have been a light.

Feb 15, 15 8:36 am

And she was 19.  So young.  It's just awful.

Feb 15, 15 8:39 am  · 

Thank-you, Donna.

Feb 15, 15 10:53 am  · 

It is really a devastating event....thanks for posting this Donna.

Feb 15, 15 5:39 pm  · 

Absolutely tragic, and the result of a severely diseased society driven by interests they can't begin to comprehend. 

Feb 15, 15 5:53 pm  · 

thanks for posting this Donna. I also did not know her. the whole thing is heartbreaking, but when i heard of the added detail that she was an architecture student, my heart sank a bit more--i couldn't help it. let us all strive to bring more compassion and empathy to this world.

Feb 15, 15 6:07 pm  · 

Bump, for Monday morning.

Feb 16, 15 8:43 am  · 

Thanks for sharing Donna. I didn't know this detail either. I admit that when I first heard about these murders I thought it was tragic, but I wasn't really affected by it. When I first read your post last night I wept.

Not only do we all share in this unique educational experience, but architecture is also a very tight knit field.

Feb 16, 15 12:14 pm  · 

Hi Donna, I appreciate your sentiments. I also have an empathy for her being an architecture student and as you mention also the tragedy must be insurmountable for her family, friends and the groom's.

This tragedy is just the tip of the iceberg(s) floating in the global society. It is called hate. It is continuously broadcasted provocatively by the mainstream media and its partner entertainment industry, influencing and misinforming the average citizen about the declared-undeclared enemy faith.

Two sisters and the groom were murdered because of their faith and its demonization.

Added note** previous experiences tell me If I was written this post, there would be a lot of reaction towards me in person since I would also mention the hate crime. It needs to. 

Feb 16, 15 1:53 pm  · 

Orhan, I wondered if you would write this memorial then figured you would not, for the reasons you cite. People would assume it was about *you*, not about Razan, and would use it as an opportunity to attack you.  

So sometimes when one wants something done one has to do it oneself. I feel like I can write about Razan as a member of our community, the community of architects, to which we all belong, and I hoped the discussion would stay around the loss of a promising bright young person.

I'm at Tuskegee University today, talking to students. These kids are so great, so young and curious and full of life and possibility. Like Razan was, before craziness and lack of empathy took her away. 

Feb 16, 15 9:33 pm  · 
Non Sequitur
Very nice post Donna.
Feb 17, 15 7:34 am  · 

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