Diaa's Story

St. Louis, MO

Diaa’s Story

This is a beautiful country. I’m okay. I take care of myself. I’ve had insurance for a long time. But I see the government giving everything like food stamps and Medicaid to people. It gives you a chance – one time, two times, three times. It gives you everything. And old people, like 60 and 70, work because they don’t want to be begging. The United States is a good country. You go anywhere, you can find food. I own this store and I rent above it. I tell people, ‘This is your store. I opened my business not for my family, but for you guys. And not just for you grown people, but for your kids.’ When my neighbor knocks on my door for milk, I open my shop, and I give her milk. I say, ‘Pay me tomorrow. It’s fine.’ If people ask for help, I help them. If people are hungry, sometimes I give it to them.

I’ve been in St. Louis since ‘93. 

Do you remember when you opened this store? 

Yeah, a guy said, ‘I don’t like these different people.’ I said, ‘Why? You’re from Germany. I’m from Iraq. You stayed and I stayed. So what’s the problem?’ If you’re United States, I’m United States. So what’s the problem? If God made you, God made me. Peace for everybody.

Our communities are only as strong as our people. And our people — our families, friends, and neighbors — are strong when they have access to the food, shelter, health care, and economic support they need to lead healthy lives. This is true no matter who you are or where you live. When we look out for one another, we all see #TheNetBenefit.