Note: This post is written by Sabika Sheikh’s classmates, (including the author – Afraz Ahmad) who were attending the same program as her in the US.
It was just another normal day in America until the news of a mass school shooting surfaced and once again left everyone in a state of disbelief. A student of Santa Fe High School Dimitrios Pagourtzis, 17 started shooting his classmates and teachers. By the time he surrendered himself to the police, he had killed 10 of his classmates and school staff and multiple injuries.
Sabika Sheikh was an exchange student from Pakistan who had come here under the Kennedy Lugar Youth Exchange & Study Program
The program was established after 9/11 to advocate the message of peace between the people of U.S and the people from Muslim Majority Countries in Asia & Africa.
Breanna Quintanilla told AP that Pagourtzis walked into the room, pointed at someone, and announced: “I’m going to kill you.” Ms. Quintanilla was wounded in her leg as she fled
Sabika was set to meet her parents in 18 days and her parents had already started preparations to receive her. None of us can imagine what trauma her parents would’ve gone through and are still going through after the break of the terrible news that they’ll be seeing their daughter a little sooner but in a coffin. It tears anyone with even a little bit of humanity in them to think of how her family feels.
One of her friends Ahsan Riaz who is also an exchange student from Pakistan in Idaho said that “She was planning to go back with all the memories she made during this year but instead she herself became a memory. She hugged her family 9 months ago thinking that she’ll come back home again and give them a hug but instead now her family would have to hug her cold body”
To be honest for a while I just didn’t know what to do or how to react either. It’s too devastating. She was a great friend
And all I could think of is how her family would feel when they hear the news of seeing their daughter after 9 months but in a coffin. I’m an exchange student and I know for a fact that all of us come here so that the societies we live in and the schools we go to can learn from us (and vice versa) and so that we could spread the message of peace within two different countries. This media made me think that, is being shot by a Lunatic Psychopath the reward she gets for all that she’s done? It’s easy at this moment for people like me who knew here to just give up. But what I have come to believe is that on the death of a dear friend, we should consider that the fates through confidence have devolved on us the task of a double living, that we henceforth have to fulfill the promise of our friend’s life also, in our own, to the world. It is now my responsibility along with every other person who knew her to carry on her message, the message that was so obvious from her ever-gleeful personality, the message of love and peace. I’m sure she’s in a better place right now, with God, in the heavens and she’s looking down on us hoping for us to keep working for the cause she died participating in. I believe that the ones who we love never really leave us, you can always find them in your hearts, they live on in your memories.
This said it does not take away the fact that she died because of something that could’ve been avoided if the so-called “Greatest Nation Of The World” & “The Beacon Of Hope For All World’ undertook some NECESSARY measures to prevent its own children from dying.
Ironic how “The Greatest Country” is so involved in “Fighting for Humanity in Other Countries” *cough* can’t protect its own people
I know a post doesn’t help lessen the grief but I had to come out and say this. As much as I wish it was me instead of her the least and probably the most we can do for her is pray that May God give strength to her parents, her friends and everyone who knew her to go through this tragic time and I ask you all to pray the same.
End? No, the journey doesn’t end here. Death is just another path, one that we all must take. The grey rain-curtain of this world rolls back, and all turns to silver glass, and then you see it. Besides how can the dead be truly dead when they still live in the souls of those who are left behind?