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Anyone who has eaten lunch at the Bread of Life Café in Liberty has no doubt been greeted by a young man who buses tables and always has a smile on his face.
But what’s remarkable about the man is not his pleasant disposition but the fact that he does the work without any hands.
Abdul Samad, 35, a refugee from Kabul, Afghanistan, lost both hands and his left eye when, as a teen, he picked up what he thought was a toy but turned out to be a landmine left by the Russians during the war.
Samad was brought to the U.S. in the early 1990s and ended up at the Galilean Home where he was raised by co-founders Jerry and Sandy Tucker.
The young Afghan Muslim learned to speak English and graduated from high school. He also gained his American citizenship, learned to drive a car and is currently working on a college degree, said long-time friend Nathan Dunlap, who works at Dutchman’s Metals in the South Fork region of Casey County.
After years of being separated from his family, Samad returned to Afghanistan in 2008 for a visit, said Jerry Tucker.
During this visit, Samad married and a son was born to him and his wife after he returned to this country.
Samad returned to his native land recently to begin the process of bringing his wife and son to America.
However, now that he’s an American citizen, life for him in Kabul is not the same, he stated in an e-mail to Dunlap.
“I was warned by a member of my family that my life is in danger because I’m a U.S. citizen,” Samad wrote.
In addition, the money that he had saved from his Bread of Life job for living expenses while in Kabul is almost gone, Dunlap said.
Dunlap said that a fund has been established to try and raise $6,000 to help Samad with living expenses and health issues that he’s experiencing.
“My left eye has developed an infection and I may have to go to Pakistan or India because in Kabul there’s no reliable medical treatment,” Samad stated, adding that his son is also sick and needs medical attention.
Tucker said that anyone willing to help financially can send a donation either to the Galilean Home, P. O. Box 880, 712 South Fork Church Road, Liberty, Ky. 42539 or to Christ the King Anglican Church, P. O. Box 213, Dunnville, Ky. 42528.