PRESCOTT, AZ, U.S.A.
HUMAN RIGHTS ACTIVIST, HUMANITARIAN
CIRCA 02/06/2015, IRAQ
Kayla Jean Mueller was a human rights activist and humanitarian aid worker from Prescott, Arizona born August 14, 1988. She was taken captive by Islamic State militants in August 2013 in Aleppo, Syria. At age 26 having been held by ISIS for 18 months, she died in captivity in February 2015.
Kayla Mueller was a student at Northern Arizona University in 2007 and was active in the Save Darfur Coalition. She graduated in 2009 and worked to help people in need in India, Israel, the Palestinian territories and in Arizona.
Kayla had been working in Turkey assisting Syrian refugees. She explained that she was drawn to help with the situation in Syria. She was working with the humanitarian aid agency Support to Life, as well as a local organization that helped female Syrian refugees develop
Kayla Mueller wrote to her family from captivity in Syria in 2014. Here are her words:
“I have been shown in darkness, light + have learned that even in prison, one can be free,” Kayla Mueller writes. “I am grateful. I have come to see that there is good in every situation, sometimes we just have to look for it. I pray each each day that if nothing else, you have felt a certain closeness + surrender to God as well + have formed a bond of love + support amongst one another …
“The gift that is each one of you + the person I could + could not be if you were not a part of my life, my family, my support. I DO NOT want the negotiations for my release to be your duty, if there is any other option take it, even if it takes more time …
“None of us could have known it would be this long but know I am also fighting from my side in the ways I am able + I have a lot of fight left inside of me. I am not breaking down + I will not give in no matter how long it takes.”
“I wrote a song some months ago,” Kayla Mueller told her family, “that says, ‘The part of me that pains the most also gets me out of bed, w/out your hope there would be nothing left…’ — The thought of your pain is the source of my own, simultaneously the hope of our reunion is the source of my strength. Please be patient, give your pain to God. I know you would want me to remain strong. That is exactly what I am doing. Do not fear for me, continue to pray as will I + by God’s will we will be together soon.
“All my everything, Kayla”
Kayla believed: “For as long as I live, I will not let this suffering be normal. It’s important to stop and realize what we have, why we have it and how privileged we are. And from that place, start caring and get a lot done.”
“We are heartbroken to share that we’ve received confirmation that Kayla Jean Mueller, has lost her life,” Carl and Marsha Mueller said. “Kayla was a compassionate and devoted humanitarian. She dedicated the whole of her young life to helping those in need of freedom, justice, and peace.”
The Mueller family exclaimed, “We are so proud of the person Kayla was and the work that she did while she was here with us. She lived with purpose, and we will work every day to honor her legacy.”