Two Hartford Students Die Saving Children From Drowning

Justin Basilone, Editor-in-Chief

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Over the summer, two former Saudi students of the University of Hartford’s CETA program tragically loss their lives during an act of heroism.

Theeb Alyami was a senior civil engineering student and Jaser Alrakah had attended the university from 2015 through 2017.  The incident which led to the death of these young men took place on June 28, not long after after diving into treacherous waters in order to save a group of children in Wilbraham, Massachusetts.

Although their lives were loss, Alyami and Alrakah’s quick actions and heroic sacrifices allowed all of the children safely make it back to shore.

Soon after the event, the U.S. Department of State put out a statement expressing the country’s gratitude towards Alyami and Alrakah’s actions, expressing its condolences to their friends and family.

The Department of State wrote, “Their heroism represents the very best of international students who enrich communities across the United States. Alyami and Alrakah were among the 52,000 Saudi students studying in the United States who bring greater international understanding and diverse perspectives to U.S. campuses and communities, and to Saudi Arabia when they return home.”

University of Hartford President Gregory Woodward also released a statement regarding the incident.  Woodward said, “We will mourn this terrible loss together. In the days ahead, we will work with Theeb’s family to determine the most appropriate way to honor his memory.  For now, I ask that you keep his family and friends, as well as our CETA colleagues, in your thoughts and prayers as they begin to cope with this tragedy.”

Ultimate sacrifices were made.

Without a doubt, Alyami and Alrakah lives may be loss, but their memory and heroism will never be forgotten.