RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) — Farris Barakat says Islamaphobia is real and he’s made it his mission to bridge the gap and promote understanding.
“My American patriotic duty and my religious duty is to be able to say, I will do whatever I can, being in this position, to use their story to kind of ease that fear that people have,” said Barakat, 26.
Two years ago this week in Chapel Hill, Barakat’s brother, Deah, was shot and killed along with his wife, Yusor Abu-Salha and sister-in-law Razan Abu-Salha.
Last weekend, Farris Barakat officially launched “The Light House Project” in their honor.
“My mom found a Tweet that my brother had Tweeted that said, ‘I have a dream that one day we’ll have a structured and organized community and I’ll be able to help the youth with their projects.’ So we’re like, wow my brother had a tweet saying ‘I dream I can help people with their projects’,” said Barakat. “Let’s do that!”
Deah owned a house near downtown Raleigh and with the help of family and friends, Farris Barakat turned it into “The Light House,” a place where local youth groups can share office space.
“It’s my best way of taking and realizing my brother’s dream and taking something that was very dark and turning it to light,” said Barakat. “The quote that goes around the house is, ‘darkness cannot drive out darkness, only light can do that’.”
So far they’ve accepted two programs: Triangle Muslim Aid, which is made up of college volunteers who work to help refugees and Triangle Muslim Professionals.
“It’s a huge blessing to be able to do something like this,” Barakat said. “Something that I enjoy doing and something that is meaningful in a time like this.”
Farris Barakat said this is the best way he knows for his brother’s legacy to live on.