By Phuntsok Yangchen
DHARAMSHALA, February 13: Tibetans across the world expressed its sadness over the death of Kayla Mueller, confirmed dead on Tuesday in Syria, and offered deep condolences and prayers to her family.
Mueller, an aid worker from Prescott, Arizona was announced dead by the Islamic militants of ISIS on Tuesday after Jordanian airstrikes against the militant group targeted the building in Syria where she was held.
She was held captive by the Islamic militants since August 2013.
Not known to many, the 26-year-old humanitarian worker was also a Tibet supporter. Following the completion of her school, Mueller travelled to Dharamshala, the exile residence of the Tibetan spiritual leader His Holiness the Dalai Lama and headquarters of Tibetan government in exile, and volunteered with several Tibetan organisations.
Mueller had worked as the editor for the CONTACT Newsletter in 2010 and had contributed several articles for the Newsletter. Some of the articles she had written were ‘Wife of Political Prisoner Speaks Out’, ‘Tibetan Refugees Thank Himachal for 51 years’, and ‘Local Artist Highlight: Tamding Tseten’.
Lobsang Rabsel, then CONTACT Newsletter Publisher and currently Deputy Director of LHA Charitable Trust, remembers Mueller as a “compassionate” and “a pride of humanity”.
“Kayla Mueller was a young girl from the US who came to Dharamshala in 2010. She was not just another tourist who came to explore the communities here and see places around. She came to make a difference in ways that could benefit the Tibetan refugees and our struggle,” said Rabsel.
“We are deeply saddened that we have lost a great human being. She touched the lives of those who surrounded her and beyond. We extend our prayers and deepest condolences to Kayla’s family. She will be remembered and honoured, by thousands of people around the world.”
Mueller had also volunteered with Tibet Hope Center and Learning for Tibet (LIT), teaching English and participating in various campaigns.
“We are very sad to know that Kayla is not anymore with us. She was one of the greatest and energetic volunteer for Tibet Hope Center. Our prayers are with her. Rest in Peace,” said Kunsang Tenzin, Founder of the Tibet Hope Center.
A friend of Mueller had shared excerpts of an article she had written about her experiences in Dharamshala from her blog. "The Tibetan cause is really incredible, and sitting with these people and hearing their stories and then teaching them English and then watching a film on Chinese brutality, (it) has all come together to cause me some heartache, as it's so much sorrow to take in and it surrounds you here," wrote Mueller.