A young Muslim video blogger stood blindfolded on a busy Manchester street asking for hugs from passers by just days after the terror attack killed 22 people.
Baktash Noori stood by a sign which declared ‘ I’m a Muslim and I trust you. Do you trust me enough for a hug?’
He stood with his eyes covered and his arms outstretched on the busy street last Friday. He decided to film the moving ‘social experiment’ and posted it on his Youtube channel The Life of Bako. The video first shows people walking by until one man passes as he reads the sign and turns back to give him a very heartfelt embrace. ‘Good man, you are not alone kid and don’t think you’re outside’ he told. Then a woman quickly approaches and hugs him and a man and another woman, people stream up to hug him of all ages.
‘Making this video has a been a great experience, the warmth and love I felt from each hug was truly wonderful’ Mr Noori wrote on Youtube. ‘I want to thank the two guys that helped me out with this video, without them, I would not have been able to do this Ahmad & Abdullah’ he told. The Manchester Evening News report that Mr Noori has spent the last few days in the city center trying to win the trust of the public. Describing his experience he told ‘The first 30 seconds were nerve racking, but once I got that first hug with a lovely comment from that gentleman in my video, it made me feel a whole lot better.’
‘With every hug, the comments I received were amazing, some were getting all teary and it’s not hard to tell by a persons hug and tone of voice how much better their and my day became because of this. I did not expect so many people to come and hug me, let alone give me such positive comments, but it was the best thing I’ve ever done’ he said.
Mr Noori hopes that his film will show that simple acts of contact can make a difference and unite the city’s communities. He also said ‘Being a Muslim living in Manchester, there is always going to be a couple of people that simply struggle to grasp and understand ‘religion’. Muslims typically get represented by some as terrorists. Now usually when I see comments like this on social media when a tragic event happens I try and ignore it regardless of how much it gets to me, but after the incident that occurred in Manchester recently, it affected me a lot, so much hate crime and hate comments being shown all across the web and news it just hurts to see it all.’
Mr Noori recieved positive comments not only on teh street but online too. Miss Phase wrote on Youtube ‘I love this video so much! I’m Mancunian and what happened absolutely broke my heart and as a Muslim, it brought a wave of pain, fear and anxiety. Being scared in my own home town, but watching this video, alhamdulillah, its increased my hope. The amount of people, good hearted humans that came to hug you was amazing. And it just goes to show; Manchester and its residents are beautiful, kind hearted humans and humanity can never be broken. God bless Manchester.’
And FRANKEN-METAL wrote ‘We will not let racists use this. We will not let terrorists and racists win.’