Bnyad Sharef & Maggie Anderson — A Trump Supporter And A Muslim Iraqi Refugee Walk Into A Bar…

photo taken by Jeremy Cowart in partnership with Catholic Relief Services for the #BeUnafraid campaign

photo taken by Jeremy Cowart in partnership with Catholic Relief Services for the #BeUnafraid campaign

Today, November 6, is midterm election’s day here in America. I love our global listeners but since most of our listeners are from America, I have something to say to you. No matter who you are or where you land politically, I hope you voted. It is our right and one we must not take for granted. Having said that, let me say this—I hope you are voting for equality and justice for all people in this election. Not just equality for some people. 

I bumped this podcast conversation up a few weeks because I wanted you to hear it on election day. Not because I hope to sway your vote. I am releasing it today as more of a symbolic gesture of what I want to see more of in our country and in our world in the future. 

Today, you’ll get to meet Bnyad Sharef and Maggie Anderson. Bnyad is a refugee from Iraq. He’s also a Muslim. Maggie was a staunch Trump supporter and was very anti-immigrant and anti-refugee. Bnyad and Maggie’s friendship is going to blow your mind. The changes in both of their lives are amazing and they give me so much hope. 

They met a few months ago when they were asked to be part of a campaign called #BeUnafraid. This campaign was created by Catholic Relief Services and my friend Jeremy Cowart. In this campaign, they asked dozens of refugees and their American neighbors to start critical conversations by sharing their stories with each other. What happened was absolutely beautiful. You can learn more about the campaign here and here.

Fair Warning: We recorded this podcast a few days ago in Maggie’s hotel room at midnight as soon as Maggie arrived in Nashville for a video shoot I helped coordinate with a huge media platform. (In a few weeks I’ll be able to share more about that.) Remembering this was recorded at midnight is a huge key to getting through this conversation. At certain points, it’s gonna sound like we are super drunk. We are not. But if you get through this conversation (please do!), you’re going to find some beautiful gems. Bnyad and Maggie are amazing humans and I can’t wait to introduce them to you. 

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Have an amazing week, friends! Love y’all!

podcastNick Laparra