Mohamed was 3 years old when war broke out in central Somalia causing his family to walk to a refugee camp in Kenya. Mohamed and his family would check a bulletin board every day to see if their names were posted for a visa lottery. After years of waiting, Mohamed’s mother found her name on the list, but couldn’t bring her children with her. She moved to Georgia to start working and was able to send $150 a month to Africa. Eventually, Mohamed moved into a home in Nairobi, Kenya, before being approved to come to the United States. Mohamed learned English by watching “Saved by the Bell” and going to English as a Second Language (ESL) classes. He held multiple jobs while attending school. It was a security job at Tennessee Immigrant & Refugee Rights Coalition (TIRRC) and Mohamed’s curiosity about refugees that led him to his passion.
If you see somebody and they look different, engage them. It’s a matter of saying ‘Hi!’ That small human kindness will open a lot of doors. Somebody will start trusting you and sharing their story. -Mohamed Shukri Hassan, Somalia
#BeUnafraid campaign for @CatholicReliefServices
Photography by @JeremyCowart