From Hollywood to Detroit to talk with a Leading Muslim Cleric about Development in Iraq

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In Los Angeles last week we met three brothers who had given up their birthday money to help save the life of a child in Iraq.

All three brothers are under the age of five, which makes them the youngest heart menders we’ve met on the tour!

From their house I hopped on a plane that took me to Dearborn, Michigan outside of Detroit to spend an afternoon with Imam Qazwini. Imam Qazwini is the leader of the Muslim community in Dearborn where he preaches and leads times of prayer in the largest mosque in America. He is also widely held to be the leading voice for Muslims in North America while also advocating tirelessly for reconciliation, tolerance, and peace. He was born in Iraq but spent 32 years as a refugee after Saddam Hussein killed his grandfather along with 15 other family members for being Shiite.

During my time with Imam Qazwini, we shared stories and drank tea as he told me about his family and his love for Iraq. But what impacted me the most was his vision for the future.

This man believes in peace. This man believes in reconciliation. This man is a heartmender.

He’s committed to a future for Iraq that doesn’t involve bombs, chemicals, or racism. To my surprise, he and his ayatollah father (who is still in Iraq) are both actively committed to a future where a backlog of 20-30,000 children waiting for lifesaving heart surgery is a thing of the past.

As I finished my tea with Imam Qazwini I thought about those three boys who had given their birthday money to save a life. What does a 2-year-old have to do with someone like Imam Qazwini? They both believe they can make a difference. They’re both heartmenders.

Today I thanked GOD for Imam Qazwini in Dearborn and for those three boys in Los Angeles along with all those out there who believe in tomorrow.

What are you up to today to mend hearts in your community or in Iraq? Let us know on Facebook or via Twitter (links below). 

Photo by Just Us 3.