MSN reports I met Abdullah Shawky last fall on the Greek island of Lesbos in the midst of the refugee crisis. He’s a regional emergencies director for Islamic Relief USA and had come to Greece with a small team to offer aid to the refugees.

The day we met, the Greek coast guard had rescued refugees at sea and towed their boat into the port of Molyvos. I watched as Abdullah and two of his colleagues, Rihab Aslami and Fahima Rakmansi, greeted the wet, frightened people and helped them navigate their dramatic arrival to Europe.

They were a blur of activity and in high demand because of their Arabic and Farsi language skills. Abdullah was born in California to Egyptian parents and now lives in Dallas. Rihab and Fahima both live in California, but came to the United States as refugees from Iraq and Afghanistan. In an interview with PRI’s The World from Lesbos last fall, I talked about how moving it was to see former refugees helping new refugees.

 

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