“Some of the most inspirational people who have touched our lives have done so through their own stories. They help us see the world through a different lens. They paint a picture of something we thought we knew, but this time we’re looking from a new perspective.”
The PowerPoint presentation is set up, the mic is sound checked, everything is ready to go. He walks up slowly to the microphone, a single piece of paper in hand. He holds the paper up to his eye level, shaking slightly. He lifts the microphone to his mouth.
He looks out to the audience — a gymnasium full of teachers, parents, and students from Kindergarten to Grade 6. His mother is standing in the back, FaceTiming her husband so he can watch his son from across the world. They wait quietly as he finds his first few words.
“My name is Yasin. I am a Rohingya Muslim. This is my story.”
We all love to share stories. We use them to inspire, challenge, and teach. We use them to paint a picture, to bring our listeners on a journey. And sometimes it’s our own journey that we feel compelled to share.
Yasin and his family have a story that has inspired us from the very beginning. It’s even more inspiring to hear it shared across a large audience. Yasin shared his story for the first time in an elementary school gymnasium, far from his original home in Myanmar. He painted a picture of his childhood, a childhood far different from anyone else’s in that gymnasium.
Some of the most inspirational people who have touched our lives have done so through their own stories. These stories have become a motivation for us. They help us see the world through a different lens. They paint a picture of something we thought we knew, but this time we’re looking from a new perspective.
As Yasin and his mother pose for a photo (cartoon displayed here) with Yasin’s father on FaceTime, I can’t help thinking that their story isn’t over yet. It’s only just the beginning for Yasin and his family. They are still writing their story, day by day. And we have the honor of being part of it.
We are grateful for these amazing individuals who continue to inspire us, day by day.
The Story Isn’t Over Yet… Backstory:
We met Yasin and his family at a shelter in Thailand. Their plan was to flee Myanmar and reunite with family members in Malaysia, but their boat stopped in Thailand instead. Along with over 100 other Rohingya refugees, they were forced to wait in limbo in Thailand, unsure of what tomorrow held. Then they were resettled in the United States. We met them and started tracking their family all over the world. A series of stories are being documented through an ongoing project, Rohingya Reunions, by Sophie Danielson.