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Death of neighbor hits community hard

Editor:
    For 19 years, my husband and I have lived in a quiet, smallish neighborhood off of Highway 80 in Statesboro while we have raised our 2 children, ages 16 and 18. Over the years I have had the pleasure of meeting many of my children’s friends (and neighbors). On Friday, August 17th we lost one of those friends and neighbors, Nail Alshuaibi, age 15 in a car accident.
    Nail was a very loveable young man with a quick smile and a zest for life. He was the original energizer bunny – always moving! That is probably why the news of his death hit our neighborhood and our community so hard. What happened after the tragedy is the testament I want to share.
    Our neighborhood has several families with children approximately the same age – 14-18. The children have grown up together and have been close for many, many years. Upon hearing of Nail’s death this group of boys immediately flocked to the Alshuaibi’s house. They enveloped this family with love and support. At the cemetery after Nail’s funeral, as I watched each one of these boys gather a handful of dirt and toss it onto Nail’s casket -  in the blink of an eye I saw this group of boys turn into men. If they are a cross section of what the younger generation is like – fear not my friends. Our future is indeed in good hands! They are strong, caring, and self-less. They will do so much better than my generation has done!
    The second testament I’d like to share is how the family and the Islamic religious community welcomed us as Christians. Being Christians, we were unsure if we would be permitted to attend a Muslim funeral. Nail’s family - who are Muslims -  let us know immediately that we were ALL welcome and went out of their way to provide detailed directions to the mosque in Savannah where Nail’s funeral would be held. On the day of the funeral, family members were very concerned about our comfort – as it was a very hot day – as well as our understanding of the procedures. They explained the Arabic prayers to us in English and repeatedly asked us if we understood what was happening. I was so touched with their concern for us when their grief could have overshadowed everything else. Our leaders could perhaps learn a thing or two……
    To the Alshuaibi’s: You are such a strong and loving family. My heart still aches for your loss. God Bless You!
    To the Neighborhood Boys (and two girls, bless their hearts!): Our world is a better place because you are in it. I’m so proud of each of you.
    To the Islamic Community in Statesboro and Savannah: Thank you for allowing us to share in your traditions. We loved Nail, and it means so much to us to grieve with others who loved him too.
Lisa Cox
Statesboro

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