Pakistani Student Among Those Killed at Santa Fe
On Friday, May 18 2018, yet another tragedy had occurred in the US. At the Santa Fe High School in Texas, a junior student Dimitrios Pagourtzis opened fire at his art class in the morning. The suspect was using a gun that belongs to his father, who is an active member of the National Rifle Association (NRA).
At least 20 people were shot by the suspect. Ten people have been confirmed dead, among them was the Pakistani exchange student, Sabika Sheikh.
Sabika was studying in the US as an exchange student through the Youth Exchange & Study (YES) program. It is a program where Pakistani students are offered scholarships to attend high school for a full academic year, while living with host families in the cities they are designated in. Around 1100 students have studied in America through this program.
She is from Gulshan-e-Iqbal, Karachi and was expected to return home in June. According to her father Abdul Aziz, Sabika was a very bright and intelligent student, who was the top three students of her class. She was the eldest of her family with two younger sisters.
When her father saw the news about the school shooting, he tried calling his daughter to make sure she was safe. She did not however, pick up her phone. Mr. Aziz then contacted the people at YES about her and after three hours, they informed him of the sad news. Media reports showed her father emptily hoping that the whole thing was a bad dream that would pass and his daughter would come back.
Both the YES and the US Ambassador to Pakistan have expressed their condolences for her demise. The Pakistani media have also expressed their grief and have send their condolences (as well as written obituaries) to the deceased’s family. Many Pakistanis have expressed their shock and sorrow on social media while international news outlets have also been covering Sheikh as well. Only time will tell if another school shooting and multiple innocent causalities will lead the gun debate in America in a sane direction.
The Paper Crush teamare also saddened by this demise and they too give their condolences to the family.
May Sabika be in peace and be granted a place to Jannat. Ameen.