Rashed poses for a portrait in front of a brick background

Rashed is in his 4th year at Peace.

“Every hour I work is an hour my father doesn’t have to.”

Rashed, the second of six children, was four when his father was able to send for his wife and children from Yemen. Yemen—Bombings. Childhood starvation. At “the bottom of the world” with poverty. I wince, trying to block out the image of all the “little Rasheds” lost there.

Rashed’s old soul precedes him. I remember the moment he walked into his first Shakespeare audition 3 years ago. He carried the struggle of his people, his family, and his father with a mantle of dutiful grace. He is at once urgent and serene while onstage—an energy that makes you long for more of whatever it is he has.

Rashed’s father owns a corner store in a dangerous neighborhood. Behind a dingy, three-inch plexiglass window that separates him from customers, Rashed sits on a stool and does his homework and learns his lines for the plays. When no one is in the store, he admitted, he paces and practices his part out loud.  “After Shakespeare, I feel like I can do anything,” he famously bellowed at his first cast party.

In the midst of the Covid-19 pandemic and school closings, Rashed works long twelve-hour shifts at his father’s store. His father has a heart condition and Rashed wants him to be safe.

“What drives you to stay in the tiny enclosed space hour after hour cashing out chips and bread?” I asked him this week. With that voice of reason and generosity, Rashed responded, “Every hour I can work is an hour my father doesn’t have to.”

A year ago in Buffalo, Rashed’s cousin, Badraldeen, 12, was struck in the head by a stray bullet in his own home and killed. “There was a lot of blood,” Rashed said hoarsely. Rashed’s magnanimity absorbed the pain of this tragedy on behalf of the Yemenite community as if he had the heart of 100 men . . . because he does.

Rashed, when our Night of Courage Annual Benefit Dinner is rescheduled, we will be there to witness your entire story—your everyday ordinary resurrection.*

#truthbetold #communityofsacrifice #100men

Real Names. Real Stories. Real Courage.

Rashed performs a lead role in Peace of the City's production of Anonymous

Rashed was a powerful leader in our production of ANONYMOUS.

Source: The Department of Justice 

Source: The Buffalo News