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Connect – Message From the CEO

May 23, 2019

Mohammed AL Samawi headshot, 2019 Keynote SpeakerFour years ago, Mohammed AL Samawi was hoping to survive. One more hour, one more day, for a future. He was caught up in the war that was breaking out in his native Yemen. It is a war of competing interests, internal to Yemen and controlled by global powers that operate at a level divorced from the human lives they affect. Mohammed was trapped—he was in immediate danger, a direct recipient of death threats and exposed to the random and persistent acts of violence around him. Mohammed was desperate for a way out.

Mohammed posted a plea for assistance on social media. People he barely knew, and ultimately many he did not know at all, answered the call. In a few weeks, with lots of false starts and dead ends among the unfolding events, Mohammed was literally saved by his new global family. These were not seasoned intelligence operatives, they were young adults who believed in the value of each and every human life, who know what it means to act on their passions, and had the will to devote their time, energy, and resources to save the life of a virtual stranger.

This is Mohammed’s story. It is the story of four virtual “strangers” who built a team with a single purpose and a drive for success. It is the story of dozens of others across the globe who were willing to say “yes” when they were asked to commit. It is the story of the power of networks and social media and the underlying current of justice that connects us all. It is the story of Mohammed’s book, The Fox Hunt. Join us on June 11 at our Annual Convening to meet Mohammed and hear his story, as we, too, connect in support of a more just world.

“We all have our own stories, but if we can start to connect – online and in real life – we can start to see just how similar they are. And then, I pray, we will be able to treat one another as brothers and sisters.” Mohammed AL Samawi, The Fox Hunt

Lee Sherman, President & CEO

The full version of Volume 4, Issue 11 of The NHSA Exchange is available online for 6 months.