The Light Left Behind

Emory remembers two students slain in Bangladesh

Abinta Kabir and Faraaz Hossain

Oxford College

The Emory community gathered in July and during the first days of the academic year to remember Faraaz Hossain and Abinta Kabir, students whose lives ended tragically this summer during a terror attack in Dhaka, Bangladesh.

Both Emory students were described as bright, warm and modest young leaders who served as shining examples to all who knew them. They also were close friends who shared a dream of returning to Dhaka after earning business degrees to help make life better for their families and the people there.

“There are no words to capture the loss, the confusion, the rage we feel that Faraaz and Abinta were taken from this world, from us, from their lives of limitless promise that each was living,” said Oxford College Dean Douglas Hicks. “And yet we press on now to share words, to remember them even in the face of unspeakable tragedy, and to express joy for the lives that Abinta and Faraaz did live.”

Kabir, 19, was a rising sophomore at Oxford College, raised in both Bangladesh and Miami, Florida. She had plans to major in economics and return to Bangladesh to start an NGO to serve underprivileged children, possibly by launching a school for girls.

Hossain, 20, was a junior from Dhaka—a fall 2015 graduate of Oxford who began his studies at Goizueta Business School in January. He also spoke of returning to Bangladesh after graduation, armed with the skills to make a difference.

Both students were visiting friends and family in Dhaka this summer, catching up at a popular cafe when armed militants stormed the restaurant. They were among 20 killed.

At the close of the Oxford service, President Claire E. Sterk noted that Kabir and Hossain crossed many borders in their lives.

“In their memory, let us take the love and emotion we feel around us out into the world,” she said. “Let us cross borders with the courage they showed in their lives. Let us embrace the people we hold dear to us and make the most of the time we have together. Let us pass in the light that Abinta and Faraaz left behind.”

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