From Ahmed to Ahmed

Dear Ahmed,

What started as just another day, ended as a life changing experience for you, and an eye opener for the world you live in. I don’t think what the school and police did was cool at all. I think what you did was pretty cool.

When I heard about your story, I felt like I could relate to you (my name is Ahmed too!). Just like you, I love technology. You’re from Sudan and I’m from Zanzibar, I’m from Canada and you’re from America. We’re neighbours on both sides of the world.

Both of us are also people that get noticed really easily, because of our faith and our skin colour. Some days are better than others but we keep pushing forward. The world is filled with people who will not understand you and will start to fear you. This fear can change you forever. But I hope you’ve learned, you can’t let it stop you. People fear what they don’t understand, and America has become a nation that refuses to understand its own people. We are just like the others, but it’s easier to label us because we look different and have Muslim names. They’ve started to fear us, because they don’t understand us, and they don’t know that we feel too. We feel targeted and hurt, we feel discriminated against and we feel oppressed in a country that stands for freedom.

I pray no other individuals goes through what you went through. Yet I know this will not be over for Muslims and other minorities in North America. However, this experience will change your life for the better. What doesn’t hurt you, makes you stronger. You’re on the road to become a brilliant man. Never forget your community, your family and most importantly your creator. For your creator is the One who has paved this path for you. Our faith teaches us that all hardship is sent our way for a reason. Your reasons have become plenty. From President Obama to Mark Zuckerberg and even Canada’s own Chris Hadfield, all stand in your support. Look at what the world has to say about a teenage Muslim boy in America. This is you my friend, you’ve done this:

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This is your time Ahmed, make it count. You built a clock, which is a symbol that represents time. They can take away your clock, but they can never take away the time you spend loving what you do. You may have not asked for this, but this day has defined your destiny. Rise and let the world see the brilliance that lies in the minds of our youth, challenged, but undefeated. Be the man you are destined to be, but now, do it even better than before.

 

Keep building,

From another Muslim on the other side of the border
Ahmed Saleh

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