DEARBORN – The Palestinian struggle carries countless stories of suffering and injustice. Such is the case with Mohammed Abu Hussein, a young Palestinian boy who lost his right leg in June during the Great March of Return along the Gaza border against the Israeli occupation.
Mohammed is currently in Dearborn, where he will receive a prosthetic leg with the help of the Palestine Children Relief Society.
With a crutch and an impassioned face, the 13-year-old, who is being hosted by the family of Mike Ayoub, is happy to be in the United States, although away from his mother, four sisters and two brothers. He will receive an artificial leg that will bring back hope to his dream to play soccer one day.
Those dreams were made in the alleys of Gaza, where he and other neighborhood children played between walls filled with images of martyrs and victims of war. Just like the pictures in Mohammed’s home in Gaza — of his late father, who passed away in 2016, as well as more hopeful pictures of Portuguese soccer star Cristiano Ronaldo, whom Mohammed dreams of meeting one day.
After the installation of his artificial leg, he will undergo a period of training and physical therapy.
The difficulties Mohammed’s family have faced don’t stop at his lost leg and his father’s death. One of his brothers also lost a leg in another protest march.
Such challenges are common among many Palestinians living under the oppressive Israeli occupation. However, while these difficulties impede the movements of Palestinians, they refuse to cripple them.
Mohammed intends to return to Gaza to stand by his mother and siblings. Although the Ayoub family expressed their interest in adopting Mohammed permanently, they don’t want to take him away from his mother, brothers and sisters.
Yasmin Hamed of the Palestinian Children’s Relief Society confirmed that Mohammed will receive special medical and social care during his stay in Dearborn. The association helps children from all over the Arab world. Children come to the United States from other countries around the world where they are not able to obtain the care they need. There are now nine children in America and Mohammed is the sixth child in the Detroit area to be treated with the association’s help.
Mohammed regularly browses his Facebook page to follow the news of Gaza and communicate with his friends daily. He said his friends ask him about “the beauty of American blondes, and about the country.” In a few months he will return to Gaza to start a new life. He will have returned after experiencing the “American Dream” following his painful experiences in Gaza with the Israeli occupation.