In the aftermath of the Orlando shooting, the world is starting to hear stories about people doing whatever they can to help during this time of crisis. Whether that means attending a candlelight vigil in memory of the 49 lives lost at Pulse Nightclub over the weekend, or it’s strangers donating to GoFundMe accounts set up for the victims’ families, people all over the country are trying to help in any way that they can.
Many people have chosen to donate blood as a way to help out. With so many people losing blood from being shot, donating blood is crucial during a tragedy of this nature. However, there is one man in particular who has donated blood, and who has made a statement while doing so.
A photo that he posted on Facebook has gone viral.
In the Orlando shooting aftermath, Muslim-American Mahmoud ElAwadi wanted to do what he could to help. He went and donated blood, took a photo of his arm with the needle inside, and posted a very moving message on social media. ElAwadi stood up for Muslims and for gay people with one simple post that spoke to thousands.
“Yes I’m sad, frustrated and mad that a crazy guy claim to be a Muslim did that shameful act. Yes our community in central Florida is heart broken but let’s put our colors, religions, ethnicity, sexual orientation, political views all aside so we can UNITE against those who are trying to hurt us,” he wrote.
Check out his full post below.
Mahmoud ElAwadi’s photo has been viewed over 400,000 times since he posted it on Facebook on June 12. Nearly 200,000 people have shared the photo, leading to more comments of positivity during this difficult time. It is people like ElAwadi who help restore people’s faith in humanity after such destruction.
Hundreds of people have commented on ElAwadi’s post, thanking him. Others, Muslims, have been grateful to this man for showing the world that Muslims are good people. Extremists who claim to be devout Muslims do not and should not reflect the religion, and ElAwadi does an excellent job showing why this is true.
The Orlando shooting aftermath is about people coming together. It is about all different genders, races, religions, people with different sexual orientations, different beliefs all mourning together. Mahmoud ElAwadi knows how it feels to be a part of a group that people seem to automatically blame when things go wrong. However, the majority Muslim people are not any different from anyone else. They feel the same pain and they want to help.
ElAwadi showed us this. His message is beyond powerful and it is something that people should hang on to.
“Yes together we will stand against hate, terrorism, extremism, and racism. Yes our blood all look the same so get out there and donate blood cause our fellow American citizens are injured and need our blood.”
Mahmoud ElAwadi’s name is popping up all over the internet today — and for good reason. If nothing more, it encourages people to get out and donate blood. Helping people in another state isn’t hard when you have resources like this nearby.
If you’d like to donate blood, to help the people in Orlando and beyond, check out The American Red Cross’ website to find a center near you.
[Photo by David McNew/Stringer/Getty Images]