UC Berkeley friends remember Pakistan crash victim

August 2, 2010 12:00:00 AM PDT
People in Berkeley are remembering a Cal student killed when a jetliner crashed in Pakistan last week. Misha Dawood had just completed her freshman year at UC Berkeley.

At just five feet tall, 19-year-old Misha Dawood's friends say she had the presence of a giant.

"She always shad this huge smile on her face," said friend Shahryar Abbasi.

"She really brought it to life," said friend Chloe Lafferty.

"She was anything but introverted," said friend Esteban Carbajal.

Dawood graduated from one of Pakistan's top high schools and was focused only on academics at UC Berkeley. However, she had been one of Pakistan's top female soccer players.

"I knew she was on a team, but I didn't know she was like a national superstar," said Carbajal.

"A very modest girl, I mean she did a lot and she was very smart and capable and she didn't really brag about herself ever," said friend Elan Weiner.

"I've heard how hard it is to come from Pakistan to a school like Berkeley. It's really impressive how she balanced an athletic lifestyle with an academic lifestyle," said Carbajal.

With her studies behind her for the summer, Dawood left Berkeley and was flying to Islamabad on Tuesday to play in the national women's soccer championship, but her flight crashed into a mountainous region killing all 152 people aboard.

"I didn't even get a chance to say goodbye to her," said Lafferty.

"I just kept thinking of little Misha just a lone on this flight. I could imagine how she was baring with it," said friend Shahryar Abbasi.

Monday, some of her friends gathered on campus and reflected on Misha's desire to return to Pakistan and advocate for equality and justice.

"What she wanted to do was take what she learned from a school such as Berkeley, apply it, and really wanted to understand the social principals she learned here, really understand the justice system, go back over there and advocate for more change," said Abbasi.

As tragic as her death is, friends had to smile when they remembered Dawood -- a young freshman who somehow attracted a legion of friends with her zest for life and contagiously positive attitude.


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