Mohammed Hussein is standing outside in the cold, staring through the window of a gym in Adiyaman, a city in Turkey. His family doesn’t have much money and so Mohammed works to help his family earn the money they need. Swung around his shoulder is a box that he uses when he shines people’s shoes – this is how he earns money for his family.
Mohammed is a Syrian Refugee which means he had to leave his home and his country, Syria, because it is no longer safe to live there. Mohammed and his family must build a new life, and now they live in Turkey. Becoming a refugee is not easy but Mohammed and his family are safer now and are working hard to have a better life.
Mohammed is looking through the window of the gym because he is dreaming about one day, being able to have enough money so he can exercise at a gym just like this one. He wants to be strong and healthy, like the people inside. But his family has a difficult time paying for food and a place to live, so paying for the gym is not really a possibility for the family.
Then, it happened. Someone took Mohammed’s picture as he was staring through the window. The picture tells the story of a boy who dreams of being on the other side of the window.
The person who took Mohammed’s picture posted it on the internet. Some people saw the picture and then they posted the picture on the internet too. And then more people saw the picture. And then those people posted the picture on the internet. And so on.
Many, many people saw the picture-including the owner of the gym! When the owner of the gym saw the picture of Mohammed dreaming of being on the other side of the window, he started a search for the boy. Once people learned of the search, it wasn’t long before someone recognized the boy and spotted him in town, shining shoes, not far from the gym.
The owner got word, found the boy, and explained to him that he saw his picture and he wanted to help make his wish come true. So, the owner gave Mohammed a lifetime membership to the gym! Now, he can use the gym whenever he wants – forever!
More people heard about Mohammed and his family trying to make a new life and they have sent gifts to him and his family.
Mohammed is enjoying being on the other side of the window! So, now you know, when you take notice of the people around you and care enough to pay attention to how they are feeling, you are being kind and could be helping someone more than you ever imagined. You might even help make someone’s dream come true!
Did you know:
- Flying in an airplane from Denver to Turkey would take about fourteen hours.
- There are thousands of refugees living in Colorado.
- Many refugees don’t know English because they speak another language.
- Even if you only speak one language, you can communicate with someone without words! Smiling is a great way to communicate and showing kindness with your actions is understood by everyone, no matter what language they speak!
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