WASHINGTON — On what would have been her 18th birthday Saturday, family and friends of slain Muslim teen Nabra Hassanen remembered her life by giving to others.
Hassanen, of Reston, Virginia, was brutally killed in June 2017 during the pre-dawn hours while the 17-year-old and her friends were walking to the Sterling mosque. They were taking part in an all-night sleepover event during the month of Ramadan.
“We’re just out here celebrating her memory. We are giving charity on her behalf,” said Rqkih Ibrahim, a close family friend, during Saturday’s charity event at the Southgate Community Center in Reston.
Hassanen was known for being compassionate, loving and caring, and Ibrahim said giving back was a way to keep Hassanen’s love of helping others alive.
The community put together care packages that will be distributed to the homeless in D.C. The “blessing bags” contained water bottles, combs and brushes, wet wipes, deodorant, snacks and other food.
With the anniversary of Hassanen’s death coming up, Ibrahim said they are just taking things one day at a time.
Darwin Martinez Torres, 22, of Sterling, faces multiples charges in Hassanen’s killing, including a capital murder charge, which brings with it the possibility of the death penalty. He is also charged with rape.
Police have previously said that road rage led to Torres attacking Hassanen; they also said they have found no evidence Hassanen was killed because of her religion, but her death has deeply affected the local Muslim community.
Torres’s trial date was set for March 12, but it was continued to Jan. 7, 2019.