The town of Wilbraham, Massachusetts proclaimed June 29th “Theeb Al-Yami and Jaser Al-Rakah Remembrance Day” to commemorate the heroism and sacrifice of the two Saudi nationals who perished in the Chicopee River on June 29th, 2018 attempting to save the lives of local women and children in distress. Al-Yami and Al-Rakah were cousins from Najran Saudi Arabia who were studying engineering in the United States.
“Theeb Al-Yami and Jaser Al-Rakah died heroes, saving the lives of total strangers, some of them children, who were captured by sudden strong currents in the Chicopee River. Theeb and Jaser, both engineering students, drowned so that others in their community could live.
In Arabic, the name Theeb means “wolf.” Wolves in the wild are known to sacrifice themselves to save others in their pack. Theeb considered strangers in distress to be members of his pack, and he sacrificed himself for them. The name Jaser in Arabic means “fearless.” Jaser certainly personified his name when he jumped in that river with no thought for his own safety or wellbeing.