Contrary to what the mainstream media might have you believe, Jews and Muslims can and do form friendships. Sadly, we don’t get to read much about this, but here’s a rather sweet story from The Jewish Chronicle which certainly made me smile – I hope it does the same for you.
Muslim joins the Kisharon team
Muslim orthodontist Siamack Bagheri ran the marathon for learning difficulties charity Kisharon as “my small step for peace”.
The Iranian-born 45-year-old said he had been inspired by a Bat mitzvah girl who was the daughter of a friend. “She said she did not want presents, but to give the money to a charity in Israel that looks after Israeli and Palestinian children of all persuasions, all with special needs. This touched my heart.
“Iran historically welcomed and encouraged its connection with the Jewish people and with all the bad news of today, it is nice to run for a Jewish charity like Kisharon, which is close to my heart.”
Now based in St John’s Wood, Dr Bagheri belongs to a long distance running club, through which he met Kisharon chief executive Beverley Jacobson.
As for Sunday’s race, he was “fine until 19 miles, then it got very tough. I had muscle spasm in my right thigh.
“I had to stop running and walked for half-a-mile before gaining the strength to start running again. I was determined to get through the pain and to get past the finishing line in less than 4 hours 15, which I did.”
Part of the £13,000-plus he raised will aid victims of an Iranian earthquake.