CHICAGO (AP) — Friends and family of a Chicago woman killed in Kabul, Afghanistan, say the 27-year-old was committed to helping others despite any potential danger, telling friends who worried about her safety that it was "something she was meant to do."
Lexie Kamerman was among 21 people killed Friday in a Taliban suicide bomb and gun attack at a Kabul restaurant popular with foreigners. She was working as a student development specialist at the American University of Afghanistan, where her family said she was helping women "get an education and take their rightful place as leaders in Afghan society."
The Chicago Sun-Times reports (http://bit.ly/1dJDDX0 ) Kamerman graduated from the Latin School of Chicago and western Illinois' Knox College, where she got degrees in anthropology and sociology — a single major — and environmental studies.
She had worked for the American University of Afghanistan since June. Friend Sherrille Lamb said she had just been back to Chicago to visit her family over the Christmas and New Year's holidays.
"When she told us that this is what she was doing, we were all definitely concerned about her safety," said friend Carmen Knight, 28, of Milwaukee, who was a member of the Pi Beta Phi sorority with Kamerman at Knox. "She knew this had to be done and that she could do it. She kept reassuring us it was something she was meant to do."
Lamb became friends with Kamerman when they worked together at Elon College in North Carolina, where Kamerman was an assistant director of residence life during the 2012-2013 academic year.
Kamerman also had done volunteer work in Africa, served in a soup kitchen and an animal shelter and volunteered in New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina.
In a statement, her family described her as "an amazing young woman — smart, strong, beautiful, funny, stubborn and kind. And fearless."
Lamb said she believed Kamerman felt a responsibility to help others.
"It's rare to see that in someone that young these days," Lamb said. "A lot of people talk about what they're going to do. ... The things she talked about, she actually did. And that just shows a wonderful sense of humility and just something that's going to be so missed in this world."
Teresa Amott, Knox College's president, said in a statement Sunday that the news of Kamerman's death was "heartbreaking."
"Our hearts are with Lexie's family and all who knew and loved her," Amott wrote of Kamerman, who she remembered as a leader on the college's water polo team and in her sorority.
Calling Kamerman "a global citizen," Amott added that "in such a short life, she embodied the best values of a Knox education and sought a better world."
Information from: Chicago Sun-Times, http://www.suntimes.com/index