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A film by Tarek Albaba

36 SECONDS: THREE WINNERS LOST takes an intimate, investigative and poignant look into the tragic 2015 Chapel Hill Murders of three Muslim college students. These execution-style killings by unemployed gun enthusiast Craig Stephen Hicks reveal a troubling undercurrent of violent racism that thrives in 21st century America. Mainstream media outlets reported the murders as simply the result of a “parking dispute,” but the victims’ families along with Muslims around the world argue that they were blatant hate crimes. Just like Rosa Parks was not simply about a bus seat, this was not about an issue over parking.

Deah Barakat, Yusor Abu-Salha and Razan Abu-Salha were pillars of their community. They were kind, compassionate, and had dedicated their lives to helping others in need. They excelled in school, sports and were thriving young adults living the American Dream. The film follows the Abu-Salha and Barakat families as they navigate our justice system and try to move forward with their faith. For over four years, the victims’ families fought to reclaim the narrative of the motive behind their children’s execution by their neighbor, Craig Hicks. Hicks had threatened the victims before, specifically targeting Yusor and Razan, pointing at their headscarves and spewing hateful remarks. Federal prosecutors launched an inquiry into the motivation behind the crimes, but even after Craig Hicks’ sentencing hearing in June, 2019, no official declaration has been issued by the Federal Government stating that this was indeed a hate crime. 

We will highlight the need for policy change and more accurate hate crime reporting. Deah, Yusor and Razan were committed to building strong, diverse communities and their story has touched millions of lives, Muslim and non-Muslim alike. This film presents a unique way to share their legacy, provide a window into the daily lives of American Muslims, while investigating how we as a society failed them.










We were able to complete our main phase of principle filming in June 2019 which was centered around the NC State VS Hicks arraignment/sentencing hearing. We are seeking your support to help us complete the film. Some of the remaining costs include: Editing, Sound Mixing, Color Correction, Music, Graphics, Titles, rights, film festival entry fees, legal fees, and equipment rentals.













Associated Members

Tarek Albaba, Producer