Peter Kassig, 26, was a man known for his relentless commitment to improving the lives of other people, determined to provide as much care to the afflicted as possible – not so surprising for a man with a pastor grandfather who used the pulpit to promote a better understanding of the Middle East and parents committed to the education and health of their community.
A video posted by Islamic State (Isis) on Sunday purported to show he had been beheaded, just over a year the militant group kidnapped him in Syria in October 2013.
From 2011 to 2013, he attended Butler University in his native Indianapolis, Indiana. While at Butler, he visited Beirut where he was “consumed” by the Syrian conflict and the immense humanitarian crisis it bred.
Having already provided medical care to refugees in Lebanon, Kassig founded the humanitarian group Sera (Special Emergency Response and Assistance) at the age of 24. The small operation provides medical training, supplies and treatment in areas too difficult for other humanitarian organizations to effectively operate, including parts of Syria, Lebanon and Turkey.
In June 2012, CNN profiled Kassig while he was providing medical care in Lebanon, primarily to Syrian refugees.
“We each get one life and that’s it. We get one shot at this and we don’t get any do-overs, and for me, it was time to put up or shut up,” he said. “The way I saw it, I didn’t have a choice. This is what I was put here to do. I guess I am just a hopeless romantic, and I am an idealist, and I believe in hopeless causes.”
[Read full article in The Guardian]