Spring 2016, I received a phone call that delivered the best news I had received in a very long time! My resettlement process to become an LGBTQ refugee in the United States was approved, and I was told to prepare for the long trip. As 22-year old who had been through multiple traumas, faced death in Syria multiple times, lost his best friend, lost his home, and his family was torn apart, hearing over the phone that he will be getting an opportunity to start a new life was unreal. I was jumping up and down, and happy tears were falling from my eyes. Life was just about to start!
With all the excitement and hope that I had, I was terrified! Moving to a new country with no family or friends was very stressful. But I knew that this is my chance to start a better life and recover from the past.
I landed in Denver, my new home, on July 20, 2016. I couldn’t believe the amount of love and support from everyone since I arrived. I felt safe again! My hopes and dreams suddenly became achievable. Now, I am back to school, surrounded by amazing people, and living the life I choose.
From May 31 to June 6, over 3,000 Cyclists, Roadies and Virtual Cyclists will be participating in AIDS/LifeCycle, a 545-mile bike ride from San Francisco to Los Angeles to raise funds for the life-saving services offered by San Francisco AIDS Foundation and the Los Angeles LGBT Center. This year, I’ll be one of them!
I decided to participate this year to give back to this community that made me feel safe and helped me when I was in need. It is an honor to participate and help those in need because I know how much it will mean to them. Providing safety and security is so important, whether it's to a refugee from a war-torn country, or to someone who has the insecurity of health struggles. To participate, I need to raise a minimum of $3,000. However, my goal is to raise as much as I can. Every dollar raised will be to make HIV/AIDS a thing of the past. I hope that you will support me by making a donation today!
The services provided as a result of this event mean the world to those who receive them, and your support means the world to me.