Saleem al Harazi lost both eyes when he was shot during an antigovernment protest in Sanaa in March 2011. Government forces killed more than 40 of the thousands of pro-democracy demonstrators calling for the ouster of President Ali Abdullah Saleh. Saleh stepped down in February 2012 after 33 years as president.
Sinclair remembers sitting in a very small room with Saleem cradled by his mother and being in complete awe of the boy’s sentiments. “I loved them and wanted to stand with them,” young Saleem recalled. “I wanted them to end poverty. I am still happy I was able to witness the protests firsthand.” “This kid was incredible,” Sinclair notes. “What 12-year-old do you know that would feel this way after losing his sight? He was incredibly wise and seemed like an old soul. Getting to share stories like his is one reason I do what I do.”