The Boy Who Dreams of Books

We drive the same stretch of rutted dirt road over and over again. There are rumours of displaced families living in this village—families not receiving any help since fleeing from ISIS. We stop to ask villagers “Do you know where the refugee families live?” The reply is always the same “Yes, of course…right over there.” They point to some distant spot down the road, and we turn the car around, and try again.

Finally we stop a boy standing near the side of the road. “Do you know where the refugee families live?”

“Yes! That’s me! We live right over here…” That boy? His name is Muhammad. 

When we met Muhammad and his family, they were living in an unfinished concrete block house. Newly displaced by ISIS in Iraq, they had few options.

The day we met Muhammad, he was working with other boys at a metal recycling shop. He spent long hours taking apart broken machines and stripping the plastic casings from used electrical wire. His hands were busy and black from the dirty work, but his mind was far away…dreaming of the life he used to have before ISIS took it all away.

Before ISIS, Muhammad was a normal kid with a normal life. He lived with his family in a nice house, with beautiful furniture and a car. Muhammad didn’t have to work then. He could focus on his studies with his best friend.

For kids like Muhammad, returning to school is not only a key element to breaking the path of poverty, but it’s also an oasis of normalcy. 

Transform normal.

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