The tragedy triggered an immense outpouring of love from the community and from the world. Many hearts felt the loss of these three shining stars—good students who were committed to family and to making the world a better place. Condolences came from President Barack Obama, and thousands participated in candlelight vigils across the country. The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill established an endowment in their honor—the
Our Three Winners Foundation
In an effort to continue the legacy of Deah, Yusor, and Razan, Dr. Hesham Baky, a dentist and adjunct professor of dentistry who knew Deah, joined with Deah’s parents and several friends and family members in order to push ahead with Deah and Yusor’s plans to provide dental relief to Syrian refugees. In just a few short months, they exceeded their initial goal of $20,000, instead raising more than $530,000 for Project Refugee Smiles.
Having a way to honor their late friends’ memories while helping those in need—something Deah, Yusor, and Razan shared a passion for, according to Dr. Baky—helped the community of friends, family, and colleagues through the difficult time.
Dr. Baky spoke of the humanitarian mission, which the group successfully carried out with the help of product donations from Ultradent Products, Inc., and other companies. “We spent five clinical days and there were eight dentists that went, along with a host of other volunteers, including the parents of Deah Barakat, the founder of our mission,” Dr. Baky said. “We didn’t bring home anything that we took, including the dental chairs we brought, which we ended up donating to refugee clinics around the country to further aid Syrian refugees.”
Learn more about the Ultradent Humanitarian Relief Program »
“Yes, the refugees certainly need dental care, of course,” he went on to say, “but more than anything, what they need right now is to know that the people of the world stand with them and support them during this very difficult time. Through our relief efforts, we definitely get back more than we could ever give them.”
Project Refugee Smiles plans to return to the Syria-Turkey border again in 2016 with the hopes of treating 3,000 refugees during their two-week trip. They are currently raising funds and gathering dental supplies for the mission.
Iman Budwan, a friend of Deah, Yusor, and Razan travelled to Turkey with
Project Refugee Smiles
last year and plans to travel abroad with the group again this year. Iman says, “These are people that are people just like all of us. They have had their homeland destroyed and they don’t know where to go. A lot of them are separated from their family. They just want to be safe, to have an education and to have a better life.”
Ultradent proudly supports Project Refugee Smiles, and you can too by donating to this year’s fundraising efforts. The mission will take place July 14–19, 2016, and will continue to carry on the dream of humanitarianism shared by Deah Barakat, Yusor Mohammad Abu-Salha, and Razan Mohammad Abu-Salha.