Mohamed Bzeek - Foster Father
"The key is you have to love them like your own".
Mohamed Bzeek has been a foster parent for terminally ill children for over 20 years.
Thank you again to everyone who has donated. Mohamed's story of love and dedication has clearly struck a nerve.
I just had a long, lovely talk with Mohamed. With his permission, I would like to mention some of the things that the donations will be used for:
1. Air Conditioning/ Heating
Mohamed is going to get central air conditioning and heating. Both of Mohamed’s children have problems regulating body temperature. Right now Mohamed just has a swamp cooler in his living room. He mentioned that in the summer when it gets hot, the family has to spend all their time in the living room, near the swamp cooler.
Mohamed has not taken a single day off since 2010. In 2010 he took 6 weeks off to visit family in Libya. But apart from that he hasn’t taken a day off since 2000. The donations will enable Mohamed to hire another nurse, if he needs additional support, or needs to take a break.
3. Adam’s Education
Mohamed is very happy to be able to use some of the donations towards his son Adam’s college education.
4. A New Van
Mohamed has a 2003 van. He is very dependent on his van to take his children to doctor and hospital visits. He would like to use part of the donation to get a new, wheelchair accessible vehicle.
5. Roof Repairs
Mohamed mentioned that his roof has been leaking badly for a while. He said that the donations came at just the right time.
I can’t convey what a lovely, humble person Mohamed is.
We spoke for over an hour, and most of the time was spent with him telling me beautiful stories about the children he has loved and taken care of. He also mentioned in passing that his family members in Libya had created an organization to take care of Libyan orphans, and so far they had served over 600 orphans.
Yesterday I had never heard of Mohamed Bzeek.
I was feeling overwhelmed and disturbed by the hate speech I was seeing on the internet. Then I happened across the article about Mohamed in the LA Times. I read it and burst into tears.
It was healing to read about someone who is so genuinely good. I was touched by his faith, his gentleness, and his dedication and love for his children.
Mohamed has been of service, not only to his children, but to everyone who has read the article. In these times when there is so much hate, it is inspiring and reassuring to read about someone who is so good and full of love.
Thank you, Mohamed. The world is a better place because you are in it.
Also, thank you, Hailey Branson-Potts. Hailey wrote the article in the LA Times. In the hands of a lesser writer, this article would not have touched so many people.
Thank you for introducing us to Mohamed. And thank you for writing about an ordinary (and extra-ordinary) Muslim American.
To quote 2 donors:
"In light of the current state of rhetoric in our country regarding Muslim Americans, people like Mohamed need to be seen and heard."
"It was so wonderful for the LA Times to do the story on just another person who "happens to be" Muslim and who happens to be an angel."
( I also added an update explaining what motivated me set up the GoFundMe campaign).
Thank you to everyone who has donated so far! I am very touched and humbled by the outpouring of support and donations.
All funds raised go to Mr. Bzeek and his family.
The comments have been turned off. Thank you everyone for your kind words and support.
In part of the video, Mohamed describes having to go into the hospital for surgery for colon cancer last December. (He is in remission now.)
“I was so scared. I’m 62 years old. I was petrified because I have nobody to go with me. … I have to go to the operation by myself. I was so scared; I felt what the kids felt. They’re alone by themselves. This makes me do more… for these kids, because I was in their shoes.”
Many people have described Mohamed as a hero. If he was a superhero, his super power would be compassion.
I wanted to give a big “shout out” to the folks at GoFundMe, especially Laura (pictured). She went above and beyond to help. GoFundMe provided an enormous amount of support, and really helped make this campaign possible. Thank you.
I feel very honored and privileged that I had a chance to do this campaign. Mohamed is a really kind, genuine person, and I'm grateful that he is in my life.
Mohamed’s story has touched people all over the world:
-His story recently aired on a Chinese news station. Donations from China have started coming in.
-The Al Jazeera video has been viewed over 31 million times.
-Mohamed has done a number of interviews for stations in the US, Canada, Libya and Turkey.
Clearly, his story of dedication and loving-kindness has touched a nerve world-wide.
Mohamed’s hope in giving these interviews is to encourage people to consider becoming a foster parent.
Two excellent radio interviews with Mohamed:
The Boy with Long Lashes
This is a very moving radio interview with Mohamed, plus transcription
CBC (Canadian Broadcasting Corporation)
A teacher, Adrienne Hughes created a storybook about Mohamed for her young students
Mr. Bzeek's Beard is Full of Love
I was really happy to meet Mohamed. He is a loving, dedicated father, and a devout, humble individual. But he is also down-to-earth, funny and a pleasure to spend time with.
Last Friday, Mohamed was honored as a "Champion of Children" by SEIU 721 (social workers who work in the foster care system).
I attended the ceremony with Mohamed. I was very impressed by the dedication and passion for serving foster children that I witnessed there.
The GoFundMe Campaign is currently at $385,000. There have been 7280 separate donations from 69 different countries.
Clearly, Mohamed's story of selflessness and steady love and care has touched a nerve.
Thank you to everyone who has donated. Mohamed is very grateful for the donations, and for the kind messages.