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Podcast Roundup: A Personal and Poetic Look at the Chapel Hill Shooting

Deah Barakat, Yusor Abu Salha and Razan Abu Salha
Our Three Winners
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Deah Barakat, Yusor Abu Salha and Razan Abu Salha
Deah Barakat, Yusor Abu Salha and Razan Abu Salha
Our Three Winners
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Deah Barakat, Yusor Abu Salha and Razan Abu Salha

On February 10th, 2015, Deah Barakat, his wife Yusor Abu-Salha, and her sister Razan Abu-Salha were shot and killed execution-style in Chapel Hill, North Carolina. Their neighbor, Craig Hicks, was quickly arrested and charged with the crime. But what happened that night? Why? And what does it mean for us now?

Stories with a Heartbeat is a new podcast about the human condition in conflict. HostWill McInerney is an award-winning poet who travels the globe exploring conflict and what it says about us as people. This podcast taps into the power of poetry, stories and conversation to help us decipher conflict and find meaning.  

In the first five episodes,McInerneyexplored the tragic murders of Deah, Yusor, and Razan. Stories with a Heartbeat brings you an intimate perspective of the night of the crime from family members, a global story of their legacy from the Syrian border, a heartfelt moment where the police chief admits mistakes and makes it personal, and a powerful poetic performance from one of the victims friends. 

Subscribe to the Podcast on: iTunes // Google Play // Stitcher 

You can listen to the 5-part series on the Chapel Hill Shooting below.

  Episode 1: Listening

Will McInerney
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WUNC

   On February 10th, 2015 Farris Barakat was getting ready to leave work when he called his mom to check in. Before the conversation could start she interrupted, “Have you seen Deah?” Over the next four hours Farris confronted an unthinkable reality. In Episode One of Stories with a Heartbeat, we listen as Farris recounts the intimate moments his heart slipped from fear to hope to despair on the night his brother Deah, his sister-in-law Yusor, and her sister Razan were murdered in Chapel Hill, North Carolina.

Will McInerney
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  Episode 2: Searching for Light 

In Reyhanli, Turkey, a stone's throw away from the Syrian Civil War, there is a dental clinic for refugee children. In the front entrance there is a pixelated picture of three smiling faces taped to the wall. In white Arabic script it says, “We will not forget you.” The name of this facility is the Deah Barakat, Yusor Abu Salha, and Razan Abu Salha Dental Clinic. In Episode Two of Stories with a Heartbeat we learn about the details of the crime in Chapel Hill with reporter Reema Khrais, and we travel to the other side of the world with host Will McInerney to witness the power of their legacy in action along the Syrian border.

Alena Advic
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  Episode 3: Sidra's Smile

Before Deah Barakat was murdered, he raised money to support the dental needs of Syrian refugees and planned to go volunteer along the border in the summer. After his death, Deah’s brother Farris made that trip and delivered the money and supplies Deah raised. In Episode Three of Stories with a Heartbeat, we join Farris on his journey to complete Deah's mission, and we learn about a deep connection Farris made with one young refugee who embodied the spirit of Deah with her simple and elusive smile.

Chris Blue
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  Episode 4: Breakfast Conversations

Reporter Reema Khrais and Chapel Hill Police Chief Chris Blue vividly remember the morning after the triple murder of Deah, Yusor, and Razan. While Reema balanced her personal connections and professional responsibilities, Chief Blue released a statement about the alleged parking dispute motive in the crime, one that he now regrets. In Episode Four of Stories with a Heartbeat, Chief Blue tells a personal story about remorse, regret, and the moment his daughter told him he was wrong, “You can’t say that.”

Will McInerney
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WUNC

  Episode 5: Shattered GlassPoet Mohammad Moussa believes his friend Deah Barakat was murdered in a hate crime; and he refuses to remain silent. Shattered Glass, Mohammad’s multi-media spoken word poetry show is a year of reflection and mourning wrapped in the power of storytelling and signed with a poet’s pen. It’s a demand for answers and accountability, and it’s a journey that leaves us both broken and whole. In Episode Five of Stories with a Heartbeat, host Will McInerney sits down with Mohammad Moussa to talk about poetry, processing, and parking disputes.

Podcast Roundup: A Personal and Poetic Look at the Chapel Hill Shooting

Subscribe to Stories with a Heartbeat.

Podcast Roundup: A Personal and Poetic Look at the Chapel Hill Shooting
Podcast Roundup: A Personal and Poetic Look at the Chapel Hill Shooting
Podcast Roundup: A Personal and Poetic Look at the Chapel Hill Shooting

Copyright 2016 North Carolina Public Radio

Will McInerney is an award-winning spoken word poet, storyteller, educator, and journalist specializing in the intersection of conflict resolution and creative expression. Will hosts and produces Stories with a Heartbeat at WUNC. This new podcast explores the complexity of the human condition in conflict through poetry, stories, and conversation. In addition, Will helps with education reporting and produces the My Teacher Project. Will's work has been featured in media outlets, at universities, and on stages across the US and around the world including parts of Central America, Africa, the Middle East, Europe, and Asia. In recognition of his work utilizing poetry to confrontIslamophobia, Will was recently selected as one of the top six emerging storytellers in America by the International Storytelling Center. Will has worked as a freelance reporter and producer for North Carolina Public Radio for the past five years and has reported from Egypt, Tunisia, the Palestinian West Bank, Jordan, Turkey, and domestically in the US. Will is a US State Department Program Fellow, a Beacon of Light Award-winner, a Southern Poetry Slam Champion, a National Poetry Slam Finalist, and a National Duo Slam Champion. Will drinks too much coffee and is always looking for more frequent flyer miles.
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