Syrian Dissident Orouba Barakat And Daughter Found Murdered In Istanbul

Syrian Dissident Orouba Barakat And Daughter Found Murdered In Istanbul

Syrian Dissident Orouba Barakat And Daughter Found Murdered In Istanbul

A longtime Syrian dissident and vocal critic of the Assad regime and her American daughter were found dead in their apartment in Istanbul Turkey late Thursday night. After Orouba Barakat failed to show up for work Thursday, friends made the grisly discovery at the apartment where the two women had been living. Evidently, both had been choked and stabbed to death. Sixty-six-year-old Orouba Barakat was no stranger to controversy as an outspoken member of the Syrian National Coalition which opposed Bashar Al Assad during the ongoing civil war in that nation.

Her daughter Hala Barakat was an American citizen who was raised in Raleigh, NC and at twenty-three was well regarded as a journalist who had a bright future ahead of her. She had been working for Orient TV which was an opposition channel. In recent months, her Twitter feed had contained lamentations over the loss of civil defense workers who had been killed by the Assad regime and expressed her sadness over the destruction of the northern city of Aleppo which had been a rebel stronghold until pro-Assad forces recaptured it late last December. According to authorities, their bodies had been sprinkled with a chemical agent to prevent the smell of decomposition from spreading.

 

An outpouring of grief flowed on Twitter after the women were found

Evidently, Orouba and her daughter are not the first Syrian dissidents in Turkey to turn up dead. It was also not the first tragedy in to strike the Barakat family, who lost three members to a shooting in 2015. As detailed in a 2015 article in the New Yorker “Story of  a Hate Crime” :

“The morning after the murders, Farris Barakat, Deah’s brother, and Abu-Salha’s friend Rana Odeh set up a Facebook page commemorating the three students. Farris told me that he originally considered titling the page “Our Three Angels,” but reconsidered; though he was certain that they were in Heaven, they weren’t technically angels. Besides, the phrase didn’t quite capture the pride he wanted to convey. He settled on “Our Three Winners.”

A neighbor shot Deah Barakat, his wife and a friend of theirs over a dispute regarding parking spaces after intimidating the recent college graduates and newlyweds for months. Unfortunately, tragedy has struck the Barakat family once again and I must share the sentiments of their relative Suzanne Barakat in the Washington Post:

“Numbness. Confusion. Shock. Disbelief. I can’t think straight. How many more beloved family members will I lose to hatred and violence?”

Hopefully, the answer will be no more and the Barakat family can recover from the terrible tragedies that have befallen their relatives.

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