How the journey started for Mohammad Karim
Mohammed’s journey with Cross Cultures started when he was just 13 years old. His love for football was what motivated him to participate in the program. “I started as a player when I was 13 years old, and my first experience was in 2005 through the first Open Fun Football School in Iraq,” he recalls.
But since, Mohammad Karim has experienced some tragic things that have changed his purpose in life.
Mohammad's tragic and beautiful story
“I have had many near-death experiences. Amongst them were two suicide bombings, one of which happened in front of me and the second near the Cross Cultures office while we were working, it was terrifying for me. Doors and windows were smashed, and shrapnel began to fall everywhere.”
Mohammed Karim’s journey with Cross Cultures has been full of ups and downs, but his unwavering commitment to the program and his country has kept him going. Despite facing life-threatening situations, such as two suicide bombings, Mohammed turned his trauma into something positive. “For every innocent victim, I decided to save a new generation and give a child his/her childhood back,” Mohammed reflects. “My work is first and foremost for Iraq and the Iraqi people, and no matter how much we face, Iraq will remain, the Iraqi people will remain, and evil will disappear and be long forgotten. My trauma will help create joy for many generations to come.”
Mohammed’s love for Cross Cultures and his country has even defied the wishes of his family and friends, who encouraged him to move abroad. Instead, he chose to stay and represent Iraq in the best way he could, “to raise the name of my country and help it get better.” His participation in the Street Football World Festival in France was a highlight of his time with Cross Cultures and a source of pride for him.
“I feel happy and satisfied with everything I have done in serving people and my second family – the Cross Cultures family,” Mohammed says. Through his dedication and hard work, Mohammed has become a role model and an influential person within the community. He continues to use the lessons he has learned through Cross Cultures to help others and make a positive impact on the world.
Impact, rolemodel and inspiration
Over the years, Mohammed Karim has seen Cross Cultures evolve and make a positive impact in the communities it serves. “CCPA (Cross Cultures Project Association) helped us a lot in removing racism, sectarianism, and building love for others,” he says. “In order to build our country that was destroyed by wars.”
Eventually, Mohammed became a coach for the program. “I was a player in Al-Salam Soccer School,” he explains. “When I turned 18, I participated in the first training course in Lebanon under the supervision of the CCPA. I am now a coach and at the same time I work.”
As a coach, Mohammed has experienced a range of emotions, from happy moments to difficult ones. “There are many moments, some of which are happy and some that are sad, but I cannot forget the moment when my team lost in the Football Schools League final under the supervision of CCPA,” he says. “We were all crying, the most difficult moment, I was very sad at that time.”
Through his involvement with Cross Cultures, Mohammed has grown as a person and become an influential figure in his community. “The CCPA experience taught me a lot, and I am now an influential person with my friends and I am happy,” he says. “I believe that joining the CCPA program is a key for every young man and woman to improve communication and self esteem as well as to achieving their goals.”
For Mohammed, coaching is about making a difference in the lives of others. “Training is the secret of my life and my joy is through the smile and happiness I put on the faces of the children.”
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Mohammad’s story of resilience and dedication to making a positive impact through Cross Cultures is truly inspiring.
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