EAST LANSING, Mich. (WLNS) – Members of the East Lansing and MSU community joined at the MSU Rock on campus to remember the life of Tariq Thabet.  

He was a Humphrey Fellow at MSU and regularly attended the Islamic Center of East Lansing while in East Lansing.  

Thabet and 15 members of his family died when their apartment building in Gaza was hit by munitions last month. The attack in which he and his family died is part of an ongoing war between Israel and Hamas in Gaza.  

Community members joined each other at the Rock to pay tribute.  

During his one-year tenure in East Lansing, friends and colleagues say Thabet made “a major difference.” 

The remembrance will include a few community members recalling their time with Thabet, and close out with a prayer.  

But organizers say the vigil is about more than remembering one life. They are hoping to create change. 

“To honor his memory and kind of gather together and say, ‘How can we honor his life beyond this?’” says Saba Saed. 

The Humphrey Fellow program issued a statement following his death saying, in part, Thabet’s goal was to return to Gaza and leverage his new knowledge, relationships and experience to help improve the local economy of Gaza.