‘A gulp of water to a thirsty guy’

The Washington Post’s Sydney Page reports on two good Samaritans’ efforts to provide an Afghan refugee with a replacement for the violin he left behind.

The good Samaritans are Jeremy Bloom, a sound designer in Brooklyn, and Latif Nassar, a Los Angeles-based science journalist. The refugee is Ali Esmahilzada, who left Afghanistan with the clothes on his back, fearful of being branded a criminal by the Taliban regime because he makes music.

Bloom owned a violin, a German instrument made 110 years ago, unplayed for years. Getting it to Esmahilzada, however, was a problem. “You do not want to ship an antique violin in the mail,” Bloom said. Nassar, himself the son of refugees, agreed to carry it to LA. Putting it into Esmahilzada’s hands turned out not to be quick or easy, but a handover eventually was arranged.

“The more I heard his story and how deeply alone he was, I decided I could be that person for him,” Nasser told the Post’s Page. “I could cosmically repay the people who did that for my parents, by doing it for him.” The instrument was like “a gulp of water to a thirsty guy.”

Esmahilzada, who lived hand-to-mouth in menial jobs for some time after arriving in the US, now has a green card and better employment prospects. And a violin:


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