May 2, 2018 — Short Hills, New Jersey
“Would I be the person to say yes? What was this other person’s life worth?” Daniel Pincus, an AJC ACCESS leader from New Jersey asked himself out loud as he retold the story of the rescue of Mohammed Al Samawi. Mohammed, author of The Fox Hunt, is a refugee from Yemen who was being targeted by terrorists due to his interfaith activism.
As a child, Mohammed grew up in an insulated, Muslim world where he was taught that Jews and Christians wanted to kill all Muslims. Later in life, he met a Christian person for the very first time. After this encounter he began a journey of education and understanding. This journey led him to a peace conference where he met Daniel Pincus and three other interfaith activists.
When Mohammed posted a desperate plea on Facebook asking, if anyone could help get him out of Yemen, Daniel was a world away, sitting at a wedding, scrolling through his Facebook feed. The two were mere acquaintances and had only met briefly. That is when Daniel began to ask himself the questions, “Would I be the person to say yes? What was this other person’s life worth?”
The story of generosity and empathy that followed was inspirational. Daniel utilized AJC’s vast diplomatic relationships to help Mohammed escape war torn Yemen. Mohammed’s courage in the face of grave danger was heroic. Before this, the two were virtually strangers. Now they are able to travel around the country and tell this story. It is a story of what happens when we learn to respect the religious differences of other people. A story of the positive power of social media. A story of what happens when many people do small acts that have a big result.
AJC New Jersey was proud to partner with Congregation B’nai Jeshurun to host this event. We express our sincere gratitude to Mohammed Al Samawi and Daniel Pincus for sharing their story with us. To get involved with AJC New Jersey and learn how your small acts can have a big impact, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org or call our office at (973)379-7844.