Sarah & Amina Said
Young, teenage love seems an innocent part of growing-up in the United States, but for Amina and Sarah Said, having American, high school sweethearts was deadly.
Sarah and Amina were model students, smart, athletic, beautiful, fun and ambitious. The girls were on the honor roll and planned to become doctors. These sisters’ bright smiles and attitudes fooled most teachers and peers, but closer friends saw right through their facade, noticing welts, bruises and fear. Amina once had imprints of her braces cut into her lips after her father, Yaser Said, kicked her. She was denied medical attention as it would likely lead to a child abuse investigation.Yaser was already known for his abusive tendencies. He beat his wife and kids and molested his daughters when they were little.
The girls were forbidden at an early age to have boyfriends. Yaser threatened them many times and planned to marry-off his daughters after high school graduation to suitors he picked from his home town in Egypt. Amina was awarded a scholarship to attend Texas A&M. When she asked her father when she would be able to attend college once married, he told her when/if her husband allowed.
Yasar was becoming more enraged by his daughters’ westernized ways, from their attitudes and aspirations to their tastes in clothing and music. When he found out Amina had a serious boyfriend during Christmas of 2007, he pulled a gun on the girls. When Yaser learned that Sarah had a boyfriend, too, tensions rose so high that Patricia Yaser, the girls’ mother, hid them away in another state with their boyfriends.
Yaser manipulated Patricia to lure his daughters back home. When Amina figured-out the ploy, she refused to meet with her father and stayed with friends. Sarah obeyed and promised to break-up with her boyfriend. On New Year’s Day, Amina agreed to meet her family for tea. Her father, a taxi driver, picked-up Sarah and Amina in his cab and pulled a gun on them. Amina died instantly after two gunshots shattered her spinal cord. Sarah, however, had a longer and more frightening death. She was shot nine times and attempted to make a 911 emergency call on her cell before Yaser finished her off. The sisters were found dead in the parked taxi at a hotel.
Yaser Said fled the country and is still at large, leaving a home torn by hate and two dead daughters whose lives were cut short by the blind rage of a dishonorable father. The ultimate betrayal of a parent against his own children.
Sweet is the voice of a sister in the season of sorrow.
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