Resettled Refugee, ISIS Attack Survivor Finds Hope in Boxing | NBC Left Field
I’m here in Tukwila, Washington, because of a comment from Ali Withers. She
tagged an aspiring firefighter and boxer who has a fascinating back story from Iraq.
I was born in Iraq, in the south Baghdad. In 2008, Congress passed the National Defense Authorization Act, which was supposed to
grant 20,000 special immigrant visas between 2008 and 2012 to Iraqis who had
been employed or related to someone employed by the U.S. government. By 2012,
however, right around the time Mohammed began applying for his visa, less than 40
percent of the available 20,000 visas had been awarded and it wasn’t clear if
the remaining visas would be used. Although Mohammed was eligible for one
of these special immigrant visas, he eventually found his through the
International Organization for Migration. Today, Mohammed is one of more than 3,000 Iraqi refugees that have been resettled
in Washington State. As the rest of his siblings in Baghdad also wait for visas,
Mohammed has started going back to school, and recently got a new doctor in
Seattle, who told him he can start boxing again. If you know someone like Mohammed that’s
trying to make a positive impact in your neighborhood, tag them in the comments
with the hashtag #TagNBCLF and we’ll film their story next.