STAFFORD, TEX. — The funeral was about to begin, the first of 10 for the victims of the Santa Fe High School mass shooting, and the body of Sabika Sheikh was waiting at the mosque.
Sabika, 17, dreamed of being a diplomat, of working to empower women. A Muslim exchange student from Karachi, Pakistan, she had come to the United States through a State Department-funded study program, excited to leave behind the dangers posed by extremists at home to experience a country that represented all that was possible.
That’s what her host family remembered about her, that there seemed so little for her to fear here in Southeast Texas. And then a gunman opened fire at her school, in her classroom.
Now, Sabika was about to be on her way home, 20 days early. A Pakistani Embassy official had urged the medical examiner to work quickly so Sabika’s family could bury her properly, a world away. A plane would leave with her body later this night. But first, the funeral.
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