Leena Al-Arian was in a bookstore with her two young daughters, eagerly awaiting a meeting with characters from Paw Patrol, when a man named Lenny approached her with the most unexpected words. The Jewish man told the Muslim mother that her girls are beautiful, and then apologized for the anti-Muslim sentiment present in today’s world.
“He had tears in his eyes and told me that it must be so hard to turn on the news, that he feels awful about the bigotry my kids might one day experience, and that as a Jewish man whose parents didn’t speak any English growing up, he personally understands what it feels like to be rejected and discriminated against,” Leena shared in a post to Facebook. “I asked if I could give him a hug (he looked like he needed one more than me, but I guess I needed one too) and he wanted to reassure me that most Americans are decent people who don’t hate people like me or believe what they hear on the news.”
The pair continued speaking for a bit, and Lenny shared that his 90th birthday was that Friday. He insisted on buying her girls presents as a gift to himself, and though he did buy them each something, Leena proposed that the real gift would be a photo of them all together so that one day she could share the story of their meeting with her daughters.
Read the full post about Lenny and his touching words above, and see the photo of them all that will one day accompany a fantastic bedtime story for Leena’s adorable little girls.