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Abu-Salha expressed gratitude to America, teacher

Mussarut Jabeen and Yusor Abu-Salha
Mussarut Jabeen and Yusor Abu-Salha StoryCorps

Last spring, Yusor Abu-Salha – a college student who was murdered last week in Chapel Hill, N.C., along with her husband and sister – recorded a moving interview with her former third-grade teacher, Mussarut Jabeen, as part of National Public Radio’s StoryCorps project (npr.org/storycorps). It’s even more poignant now – and tragic. “Growing up in America has been such a blessing,” Abu-Salha said, adding that she felt embedded in the fabric that is our culture. “And that’s the beautiful thing here, is that it doesn’t matter where you come from. There’s so many different people from so many different places of different backgrounds and religions, but here we’re all one, one culture.” Abu-Salha thanked her former teacher for encouraging her to “be giving, open, compassionate.” The teacher said she was happy that Abu-Salha had married Deah Barakat, who was also a former student. “You will be together for the rest of your life, inshallah (God willing).” – Phillip Brownlee