Published On: Mon, Aug 1st, 2016

Touching story: Muslim woman praise Jewish man for apologies society’s anti-Islam sentimente

Incident meeting between 90-year-old Jewish man and Muslim-American woman at Boston-area bookstore attracts social media attention.

FACEBOOK Muslim woman's praise for Jewish man wins social media salute

 

‘It’s like chicken soup for the anti-racist soul’, a Muslim woman wrote in a Facebook post, sharing a heartwarming story of Jewish man who approached her in a Boston bookshop to apologize for society’s anti-Islam sentiment.

Leena Al-Arian, met a Jewish man, on Thursday, named Lenny, at her Boston-area Barnes & Noble. She took her two young daughters , 4 and 1 year old, for a special children’s program,  to meet characters from the Paw Patrol cartoon.

Lenny approached the young family, started by telling her how beautiful her daughters were, then ‘conveyed a heartfelt apology for the general anti-Muslim sentiment in our society today, ‘ the mother wrote on Facebook.

“He had tears in his eyes and told me that it must be so hard to turn on the news, that he feels awful about the bigotry my kids might one day experience, ” she told her lovely story, “and that as a Jewish man whose parents didn’t speak any English growing up, he personally understands what it feels like to be rejected and discriminated against.”

“I asked if I could give him a hug (he looked like he needed one more than me, but I guess I needed one too) and he wanted to reassure me that most Americans are decent people who don’t hate people like me or believe what they hear on the news, ” she continued.

Lenny  grew up with parents who didn’t speak any English, and therefore said he understands what discrimination and rejection feel like.

Al-Arian asked if she could give him a hug as he delivered his heartfelt message in the bookstore.

‘He looked like he needed one more than me, but I guess I needed one too, ‘ she wrote in her post.

‘He wanted to reassure me that most Americans are decent people who don’t hate people like me or believe what they hear on the news.’

Lenny took a photo with the family and then bought the girls each a present at the store in honor of his 90th birthday on Friday.

Al-Arian said she decided to post it after a friend suggested she put it out there “to add to what I guess is our modern day chicken soup for the anti-racist soul.”

Her post has received 8, 300 likes and reactions so far and has been shared 2, 687 times.

 

Leena Al-Arian original post:
So this happened today at Barnes & Noble: I went to take the kids to meet the Paw Patrol characters and this nice man approached me, told me how beautiful the girls are, and conveyed a heartfelt apology for the general anti-Muslim sentiment in our society today. He had tears in his eyes and told me that it must be so hard to turn on the news, that he feels awful about the bigotry my kids might oneday experience, and that as a Jewish man whose parents didn’t speak any English growing up, he personally understands what it feels like to be rejected and discriminated against. I asked if I could give him a hug (he looked like he needed one more than me, but I guess I needed one too) and he wanted to reassure me that most Americans are decent people who don’t hate people like me or believe what they hear on the news. He then told me he’s turning 90 on Friday and insisted on buying each of the kids a present as a gift for himself and so they can have something to remember him by. I told him we should just take a picture instead so I can tell them the story one day (he accepted) but insisted on buying them gifts anyway afterwards. 

After the experience I told my friend Jes and we both laughed about how it sounded like one of those heartwarming Facebook stories about random acts of kindness and that it even sounded a little too on-the-nose. She suggested I share it to add to what I guess is our modern day chicken soup for the anti-racist soul. I said people will probably think my account got hacked because it’s not nearly cynical enough but here’s a picture and it happened. And if you don’t believe me, .
Oh, and happy birthday, Lenny!
❤️, Leena

 

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