In 2013 Kayla Jean Mueller was captured by ISIS. She was able to smuggle a letter to her family out when her fellow hostages were released. It was confirmed today that she has been killed by ISIS. She was a devoted humanitarian and she dedicated her short life to helping those who needed freedom, justice and peace. ISIS claims that Mueller was killed in a Jordanian airstrike on Raqqa, but there is no evidence other than a picture of a building in rubble. ISIS sent the family a private message over the weekend explaining that Kayla had been killed. The information, however, does not clarify how she died.
Obama offered his condolences by saying that her “dedication to assisting those in need shows us that even amongst unconscionable evil, the essential decency of humanity can live on.” Kayla fell into ISIS’ hands in August of 2013 in Aleppo, Syria after she was leaving a Doctors Without Borders hospital. The group contacted her family in May with proof that she was alive. They wanted a ransom of $7 million by August 13. It is not clear what happened after the deadline lapsed.
The point to take away from this story is that her life was dedicated to helping other people. She graduated from Northern Arizona University in 2009. She worked with groups providing humanitarian aide in northern India, Israel and the Palestinian territories. In 2011, she worked in Arizona with HIV/AIDS patients. She worked as an au pair in France as well. Finally she traveled to the Turkish/Syrian border to help the Danish Refugee Council and the humanitarian organization Support to Life in order to help families forced to flee their homes in Syria. She had no delusions about her work, but she did the things she could.
Let’s remember this American as a model for Americans. I want to be #LikeKayla. Read the letter she wrote to her family below.