By Kenzie White
One of the greatest gifts that FLUX has given me was the opportunity to meet the subject of my story – a young man named Mohammad. He provided incredible insight into what life is like as an international student for my piece; however, he had so much more to tell. His story was so fascinating and complex, but not everything could fit in FLUX.
Mohammad is from a small town in Saudi Arabia. Even though I just met him and he’s from thousands of miles away, I felt like I’d known him forever. He has the widest grin and the goofiest sense of humor.
Although he has a youthful and happy demeanor, he’s faced deep struggles throughout his lifetime. His hometown was the very first city to be attacked by ISIS. He told me that the mosque where the terrorist group shot into the crowds still bears the bullet holes and the faces of the victims hang upon the walls, to serve as a reminder for citizens as they walk by.
Having experienced this trauma has altered the way Mohammad lives his life—but not in the way you’d expect. He is stubbornly optimistic, and infectiously so.
Despite the hurt his hometown has suffered, the uncertainty he faces as an international student, and a painful back injury, Mohammad continues to smile and radiate genuine positivity. So thank you, FLUX, for giving me the chance to meet such an inspiring human being.