Iraqi teen’s Eagle Scout ceremony part of the ongoing ‘dream’ of living in the U.S.
In the not-so-distant past, Mohammed Al-Jumaili, of Fallujah, Iraq, was living in a state of fear as the Iraq War waged on around him and his family — a state that was only exacerbated when, in 2006, he lost the lower half of his right leg in a car bomb explosion.
Since coming to the United States, Al-Jumaili’s life has been looking up. But as the Abington High School senior walked down the center aisle of St. Paul’s Episcopal Church in Philadelphia’s Chestnut Hill on Saturday to receive his Eagle Scout award from Boy Scout Troop 117, the life he left behind wasn’t completely out of mind either.
Al-Jumaili, 17, is believed to be the first Iraqi immigrant to earn the prestigious honor bestowed by the Boy Scouts of America. But Al-Jumaili is used to accomplishing feats despite the odds.
I consider the time I spent as a Boy Scout among the most influential and positive experiences of my life. The skills that have benefited me over the course of my life are immeasurable -self reliance, a sense of right and wrong, patience, commitment to community, etc. I could go on and on.
Which is why the decision of the Boy Scouts of America to continue their policy of discrimination against openly gay members is so rattling. What do the Boy Scouts know about ‘morality’ that the military and a majority of Americans are missing?
Rob Tornoe, political cartoonist, former Eagle Scout
(Illustration by Tony Auth)
After a confidential two-year review, the Associated Press reports Boy Scouts of America has emphatically reaffirmed its policy of excluding gays, ruling out any changes despite relentless protest campaigns by critics.