A beloved Pittsburgher, Mr. Rogers, once said, “When I was a boy and I would see scary things in the news, my mother would say to me, "Look for the helpers. You will always find people who are helping.”
Following the horrible actions at the Tree of Life Synagogue my city had people from all walks of life have come together, and have witnessed the people who are “supposed” to hate each other (Muslims and Jews) extend their hands to lift up our Jewish brothers and sisters.
One “helper” who has stood out is Wasiullah (Wasi) Mohamed, the executive director at the Islamic Center of Pittsburgh. He spoke at one of the community services and said to the Jewish community, “If you need anything at all, if you need food for the families, if you just need someone to come to the grocery store because you don’t feel safe in this city, we’ll be there. And I’m sure everybody in the room would say the same thing."
I was fortunate enough to recently photograph Wasilluah “Wasi” Mohamed and witnessed his gentle and welcoming personality first hand. I hope we all can follow in his steps, by building bridges instead of walls to our neighbors, regardless of faith, culture, or race in our community, our country and our world.
Listen to Wasi’s speech at the Jewish Memorial Service
Read the Pittsburgh Magazine Article on Wasi - 24-Hour Bridge Builder