On Monday, I sat in my office with a headset on in front of my computer waiting for a Skype call to occur. I’ve done this probably 100 times before, but this time, it was different. I was waiting to talk to Amina, the mother of the Syrian Refugee family for whom I am leading a fundraising campaign.
What would she look like? Would she want to chat or be shy? Would she care that I am Christian and she is Muslim? Gosh, what will I say if that comes up? I wonder if she’s had her baby yet.
And then, the computer began to ring and when I answered, there sat a beautiful girl in a gorgeous black and gold hijab. She was smiling from ear to ear and holding a 2 week old baby boy, Ahmed, who was bundled up and sleeping away.
I got a bit more of her story. She grew up in Syria, one of 6 children. She married very young and now has three babies at the age of 21. She lives in a refugee camp in Lebanon with her husband, three children, and her brother and his family of four. She is happy to be with her brother, as the remainder of her family is still in Syria and she has no way to contact them or know if they are okay. She and her husband hope to get their own tent in the camp, and are saving money to purchase mattresses, carpet, a fridge, and a washing machine. They also have an outstanding bill at the grocery store that they want to pay off.
As I sat there and looked into the eyes of a girl who is so different than me in so many ways, I couldn’t help but be really struck by the ways in which we are the same. And while our lives are vastly different because she lives there and I live here, we are both people. Both mothers. Both just trying to do the very best we can by our little families.
And you know what did not matter? The fact that when we both promised to pray for each other, those prayers would be directed at different Gods. The fact that she wore a hijab and I wore a red tunic. Any political discussion of refugees or immigration or terror threats. What mattered is that we were two people, on opposite sides of the world, doing our best to show love to our families and to each other. We’re more alike than we are different.
I pray that one day, you will take the opportunity to look into the eyes of someone so vastly different than you and see, really see, the humanity there. Because, I predict that when that happens, you will forever be changed. And, maybe, the world would forever be changed as well.
If you want to help Amina’s family with a monetary donation, please click here. Any amount is so welcomed and will make such a difference for Amina and her family. She is so grateful for our help. If you are interested in having a Skype call with Amina, that is something that Humanwire sets up for anyone who donates $45. All you need is a computer with Skype, and Humanwire will get you all set up with a translator in Lebanon.