Memories of Two Lost in Dhaka

The Wheel interviewed over a dozen students and professors who knew Abinta Kabir and Faraaz Hossain, the two Emory students killed in last week’s terror attack in Dhaka, Bangladesh. Here are a few of the memories they shared with us.

‘I would always see Snapchat stories of them’

Camilla Gallin
Oxford College rising sophomore, Student Activities Committee (SAC) member

Faraaz Hossain (left) and Camilla Gallin (right) smile and pose for a photo at a Fun Before Finals SAC event in Candler Hall. / Courtesy of Camilla Gallin
Faraaz Hossain (left) and Camilla Gallin (right) pose for a photo at a Fun Before Finals SAC event in Candler Hall in Fall 2015. / Courtesy of Camilla Gallin

“I would always see Snapchat stories of them. They both loved soccer, like Manchester United. [Abinta’s] roommate would sit there and record them goofing around or watching soccer games, always making fun of each other. [Faraaz] was kind of like a big brother. They were there for each other all the time. When Faraaz recruited her [for SAC], they had a bond that none of us had established with them yet. That’s a friendship that will last your whole life.”

‘I was not alone in noticing Faraaz’s energy’

Kevin Quarmby
Assistant Professor of English
The following is an excerpt from a Sept. 7, 2015 letter of recommendation to the Goizueta Business School.

“As a student whose ‘passion’ might never lay in English literature, Faraaz nevertheless embraced the course with determined engagement and application. He consumed the multiple texts voraciously and, with humility and consideration for his peers, spoke intelligently about their impact. Faraaz always noted associations and found subtle cultural, political and social nuances that demonstrated his full intellectual commitment to the course … I was not alone in noticing Faraaz’s energy, enthusiasm and social warmth and ease. He remains a positive and respected presence on the Oxford campus. He exudes both confidence and humanity in equal measure.”

‘We would even sing in the shower sometimes’

Daria Zarzeka
Oxford College rising sophomore, SAC member

Faraaz Hossain (second row from top, second left from right) and Abinta Kabir (top row, third from right) pose for a photo with the 2015-2016 Student Activities Committee at the Fall 2015 retreat. / Courtesy of Salma Soliman
Faraaz Hossain (second row from top, second left from right) and Abinta Kabir (top row, third from right) pose for a photo with the 2015-2016 Student Activities Committee at the Fall 2015 retreat. / Courtesy of Salma Soliman

“I was close with Abinta, and she lived a couple doors down from me. Whenever I needed to talk to someone, I could always go to her. We would even sing in the shower sometimes and blast music in the communal bathrooms. She was soft-spoken and never got angry, even when we goofed-off during subcommittee meetings, she’d be patient with us.”

‘He Would Laugh and Say it Back to Me, Ki Hoche

Alicia Johnson
Emory College rising senior, 2014-2015 SAC Vice President

Alicia Johnson (right) and Faraaz Hossain (second from right) talk at the Fall 2014 Student Activities Committee retreat, where they met for the first time. / Courtesy of Alicia Johnson
Alicia Johnson (right) and Faraaz Hossain (second from right) talk at the Fall 2014 Student Activities Committee retreat, where they met. / Courtesy of Alicia Johnson

“When we first met, we were on the SAC retreat, and everybody had pushed their bunk beds together. I [asked Faraaz] where he was from, and he said Bangladesh. I told Faraaz my friend from home is from Bangladesh, and he [said] ‘Yes, I love it.’ This is the Bengali phrase I know, ‘ki hoche,’ [I told him]. It just means ‘What is happening?’ He was cracking up. He was fluent, and he started trying to teach me other phrases. Whenever I would see him, I would say ‘ki hoche,’ and he would laugh and say it back to me. ‘Ki hoche. What is happening?’”

‘She wrote about wanting to make more memories’

Camilla Gallin
Oxford College rising sophomore, SAC member

Abinta Kabir (right) and Camilla Gallin (left) pose with a cutout of a camel for a photo at Oxford’s 2015 Fall Formal at the Fox Theatre, themed “Desert Oasis.” / Courtesy of Camilla Gallin
Abinta Kabir (right) and Camilla Gallin (left) pose with a cutout of a camel at Oxford’s 2015 Fall Formal at the Fox Theatre, themed “Desert Oasis.” / Courtesy of Camilla Gallin

“We had our last SAC subcommittee meeting, and we had planned a little appreciation surprise for Abinta that morning. We brought her donuts, and she brought the donuts that night [to the meeting] because she wanted to share them with us. She had made us all these personalized goody bags with candy and handwritten notes. For mine, she taped two pieces together because it was so long. She wrote about wanting to make more memories. We always talked about how we were going to make a lot more memories together because we realized how compatible we were. We were excited for the new freshmen.”

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