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October 28, 1999
The Tragedy Revisited
The Azim Khamisa family migrated to the United States from East Africa. Daughter Tasreen who runs the Tariq Khamisa Foundation to fight violence in schools remembers the day her brother was shot dead in a failed robbery.
"I was visiting my grandparents... My grandfather was recovering from open-heart surgery. Before leaving for the hospital the phone rang," she says. Her grandmother answered the phone.
"She started screaming. I have never heard anyone scream like that, and to this day the sound rings in my ear," says Tasreen, who thought that her grandfather had died.
But it was her father on the line. "He told me through his sobs that Tariq, my only brother, had been shot and was dead.
"Losing my brother was like losing my other half. He had been my best friend, my support and my strength for 20 years. I did not know how I was going to live the rest of my life without him," she said.
Working for the foundation and spreading the message of non-violence, she says, helps the family heal its wounds.
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