Friends of killed Saudi student in the US talk of his ‘kindness, good heart’

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The mystery surrounding the killing of Saudi student Yasser Talal Abu al-Faraj in his apartment in Miami, Florida left his family living in tragedy and pain after the sudden death of their son.

“The university is in a state of shock from the news, especially the architecture department where Yasser was studying, which canceled all classes completely yesterday because of the tragedy,” said al-Mahdi Bakhit who is Faraj’s friend.

Bakhit said that he had met Faraj in Miami in February of 2016, where they became friends instantly.

“Yasser used to live with some of my friends, then he moved to live opposite the campus. Throughout this time we were living normal lives until we received the news of Yasser’s death after one of his friends returned to the apartment and discovered that Yasser was dead. Our friend Salah is the only one who saw the body,” Bakhit added.

Bakhit said that Faraj was known for his “good manners and kind heart.”

“I used to hang out with him in Ramadan, we played volleyball together and he loves drawing so he spent a lot of time in the architecture building. He was known for always being positive and people loved him,” Bakhit said.

He added that Saudi media should “make the picture clearer” and that investigations should be supervised until the perpetrator is found.

The president of the Saudi Student Association at the University of Miami also spoke to Al Arabiya English saying that Faraj was an active participant in the club, always attending events and was known for his kindness and good behavior.

“Last time he visited the club, he asked us to always gather together and to be united. He was always friendly to new students and helped them with joining clubs and activities. We also shared common fears over the hurricane last year, and he got involved in volunteering campaigns like cleaning public spaces after Hurricane Irma,” the president of the Saudi Student Association Zainab Alsaihati told Al Arabiya English.

The student association released a statement saying: “After investigations by the US police, it turned out to be a murder. We do not know the circumstances of the case and the motive towards the crime, we ask you to take caution and stay away from suspicious places, and do not deal with strangers in the streets and choose the appropriate housing with the availability of security. May God protect us.”

The police said they announced a reward for anyone who can come forward with information which can help in the investigation. They added that the 23-year-old was studying engineering at the University of Miami and that traces of assault were found on his body.