Ten years to the day after Samira Hussein’s family cars were slashed on the inside and outside, she woke up to a near identical incident.

The mother of three spends each morning driving her daughter and her daughter’s friends to school. However, on September 11, one of those young friends delivered some bad news.

“She told my daughter ‘Your mom’s car has two flat tires,’” said Hussein. “As soon as I heard that I knew it wasn’t just a flat tire.”

When Hussein sent her son outside to check on it, he saw that his car’s tires had also been slashed.

According to Hussein, the incident mirrors her family’s experience up until the late ’90’s. They were victims to dozens of crimes.

“When the first American troops went to Saudi Arabia after Saddam Hussein raided Kuwait, that’s when we started experiencing the problem,” she said. “It continued for at least eighteen years.”

The Hussein family has documented the cases. Six times their vehicles were vandalized. Several times they’ve woken up to find hate notes taped on their front door or dead chickens on their door mats.

But for the Palestinian-American whose children were born here, the worst are the school cases.

“Our children were taunted at school. They were hit and beaten up,” she said. “My children grew up being fearful.”

So, Hussein took the negative experiences and decided she’d turn them into something positive. She began volunteering at various school systems and even made national headlines with her attempts to teach young people about her culture.

“I will not give up because we are part of this society and this is how to be constructive, to reach out to educate,” she said. “It woke us up. A lot of good things came from this.” (MORE)


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