Md. boy's dream for peace in Syria catches attention of Martin Luther King III
Eight-year-old Sami Araji learned about Martin Luther King Jr. in school. The Montgomery County boy got the attention of the son of the famous civil rights leader recently and it all started with a dream of making sure his grandparents were able to stay safe.
When it comes to little Sami's dreams, his grandparents figure quite prominently.
"I just feel really worried about them because I don't want them to get hurt or anything," he told us.
Sami goes to school at Bells Mill Elementary School in Potomac. Recently, the school had an important visitor: Martin Luther King III.
Sami was one of the students who read his own "I have a dream" speech during King's visit.
"I have a dream that one day the war in Syria will stop and that Lebanon will be peaceful so that people who live in Lebanon like my grandparents can live in peace," Sami shared with the audience that day.
What Sami had to say caught the attention of the audience and King himself, who recounted the story later at another public event.
"I was also kind of shy when I said it because there was a whole crowd of people in front of me," the 8-year-old told us. "I felt kind of proud of something like that because I was standing next to a very special person."
Speaking of very special people, Sami said his grandparents are pretty special, in part, because they do the things that grandparents do.
"They just want me to have stuff that I want," Sami said. "Like if I want to buy candy from a store and my mom says no, they just buy it for me."
Sami's mother's parents live in Lebanon, quite close to the Syrian border. It is so close they can hear the shelling from a civil war that has now lasted four years.
"I remember that my mom told me that there was a war in Syria and it was affecting Lebanon, so that some bombs would miss where they were trying to go and go to Lebanon and damage old buildings and hurt people," said Sami.
He said he isn't sure how to solve the problem, but he wishes the adults could sort that out.
But maybe one day, Sami will be able to negotiate a peace deal.