I live a fairly sheltered life, so it's not often (or ever) that I hear of someone I have met being killed. I also have a high standard for humanity - and there are few people who meet that standard - people who I truly admire in this world. So, perhaps this is why I am so personally devastated by the news of Sabeen Mahmud's murder today. I did not know her at all, really, but she was the very first person I met on my very first trip to Pakistan, as we were about to launch the Emerging Leaders of Pakistan program in 2012. She hosted us at T2F, gave us a tour, and offered her insight. She was welcoming, warm, and down to earth. (And, she helped me get a sim card for my phone!) I was invited back to T2F later that night for a program on violence against women, and was able to experience the vitality of the space in motion. That space, her voice, her power to convene - all things many of us take for granted, but an act of sheer courage and resilience in a place like Karachi. She put her life at risk every single day in the name of peace, justice, and truth. I often wonder if people like her know somewhere deep inside that they have a limited time on earth, so they better shake things up while they're here. And remind the rest of us how we should live.
My souvenir from T2F is a t-shirt that says, "I think, therefore I'm dangerous."