Archive for December 2015

An Assyrian Mothers Life also Lost in San Bernardino Shootings


By Abbey Mikha

More innocent lives lost in California. An Assyrian mother was murdered in the San Bernardino shootings a few days ago along with 13 others with also 21 injured.  It was reported in the news that the killers in San Bernardino used military-style assault weapons to kill as many people as they could.  It was also reported that the suspects Farook and Malik were killed by police in a shootout after their deadly attack.

According to Benneta Betbadal families go fund me page she was born in Iran in 1969. This means she was only 46 years old when she was murdered!

“She fled to America at the age of 18 to escape Islamic extremism and the persecution of Christians that followed the Iranian Revolution. Benneta initially settled in New York City, eventually moving to California and marrying her husband, Arlen Verdehyou, a police officer. They moved to Rialto, California and had three children, now ages 10, 12, and 15.

Benneta graduated from Cal Poly, Pomona with a degree in Chemestry. She accepted a position as an inspector for the San Bernardino County Health Department where she has served for many years. Benneta was proud to work for the people of San Bernardino County. She loved her job, her community, and her country. Her greatest love, however, was for her husband, her children, and her large extended family.

Benneta left the house Wednesday morning, excited about a presentation she was scheduled to give to her supervisors and coworkers at their annual meeting. It is the ultimate irony that her life would be stolen from her that day by what appears to be the same type of extremism that she fled so many years ago.”

A friend of the family has set up a memorial fund for the Betbadal children.  The fund will be used solely to benefit Benneta’s children, as they and the family have been forced to live life without her. The person who set up the fund is Benneta’s husbands best friend for the past 30 years. They stood up at each other’s weddings and his wife and he are the godparents to Arlen and Benneta’s children. Like Arlen, he is also a law enforcement officer, a lieutenant with a county sheriff’s department.

It is so sad to see the picture of this Assyrian mother standing with her husband and children at Christmas time, who came to America escaping Islamic extremism from Iran, who got educated, fell in love, had children, and was living a quiet life with her family. Her life was cut short by selfish people who do not care about the significance of every soul that lives and who would have been happy to take the souls of as many more people as they could.  Each individual that was murdered meant something to their families and to the community. Each individuals journey was cut short.  Imagine how many children lost their moms and dads.  How many people lost brothers, sisters, uncles, aunts, grandparents, and friends etc.  Most definitely what was done to these human beings was unjust but God will bring justice to all these innocent souls in the other world.  Most certainly the American people and government and everyone should also fight to bring justice to the peoples lives who were taken in this reality and this world.

I was reading about the tragedy and someone wrote that the remaining family of the killers said that the male murderer had been made fun of at work. Someone had made fun of his beard. If every time someone got made fun of in the world they went out and shot and murdered people where would the world be? This is not an excuse!

I want to give my sincere condolences to the families of all the victims of the San Bernardino shootings. May God rest each of their souls in peace and may he give all the families strength in this difficult time.  May the American people not take the lives of these individuals for granted and may they act accordingly in regards to terrorism in America and the world.

Benneta, your life was cut short along with everyone else’s who was murdered, but the Assyrian community will not forget any of the victims and their families. We stand with you all!   Benneta’s children have been so brave speaking out about the kind of mother she was in the media. I pray that God will give your children, husband, and family strength Benneta so that they may go on and live, although most assuredly they will miss you immensely every day of their lives. Rest in peace beautiful Assyrian flower who will not be forgotten.

If you would like to contribute to the Benneta Betbadal memorial fund please donate at the following page:

To donate to the other victims of the San Bernardino shooting please go to the following page: