Mahmoud watched as these two boys attacked the boy with the bread, a boy he didn’t even know.
He felt the stings of irritation, of anger, of sympathy. His breath came quick and deep, and his hands clenched into fists.
I should help him!
But he knew better. Head down, hoodie up, eyes on the ground.
The trick was to be invisible. Blend in. Disappear.
At the beginning of the story, Mahmoud strives to be invisible, as “Being invisible was how he survived.” He tries to stay hidden to avoid the bullies, the barrel bombs, and soldiers fighting in the Syrian civil war. Then he starts to realize that being invisible deprives him of being acknowledged as a person, but sometimes visibility leads him to be abused or further oppressed. Yet Mahmoud ultimately comes to the conclusion that it is important to be seen and acknowledged as a refugee so that others can offer their aid.
Theme: Don’t feel like you need to stay hidden to stay safe because asking for help is also an option