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14 October 8th, 2015 Alison Sweeney Writes CNN Op-Ed Piece On Nujeen Mustafa And Realizing How Much Comfort & Escape DAYS Brings To The Reality Of The World!

Photo Credit: HutchinsPhoto.com

The story of super EJami fan, Nujeen Mustafa continues!  The teenaged Syrian refuge who has cerebral palsy and is wheelchair bound, has become an inspiration for so many by making it all the way to Germany for safe haven.  But what everyone learned along the way is that Nujeen is also a big fan of Days of our Lives and was devastated over the “death” of EJ DiMera (James Scott)

After reunting on late night TV for Nujeen and then making a phone call to her, clearly both Alison Sweeney (Sami) and James Scott were moved by this young girl’s story.  Now, Sweeney has taken to CNN.com to post an op-ed story entitled: Why Nujeen Mustafa Inspires Us All.  Meanwhile, Sweeney is set to return to the NBC soap opera on-air next week.

Contained within Sweeney’s post are words about the power of DAYS:  “In 1993, when I joined the cast, I met people on the street. Fans would share how they grew up watching the show with their parents or grandparents. Kids who were named after main characters on the show would share how their own stories helped them through tough times in school or through the loss of a loved one. But what I didn’t realize was the extent to which the show provided comfort and an escape from reality around the world. I didn’t truly comprehend the impact of the show until the producers of John Oliver’s HBO show approached James Scott (who played EJ) and me to ask if we could reunite for a special scene just for Nujeen. I had been trying to get in touch with the journalist who interviewed Nujeen because I wanted to make contact with the brave young girl, so this opportunity was perfect. Oliver’s producers wanted to offer insights on the humanity behind a politicized struggle. I loved the piece but never anticipated the flood of response. So many news outlets recounted Nujeen’s story and the scene we played out for her. It clearly sparked something in a lot of people.”

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Alison also added: “Nujeen has profoundly affected my life. As the mother of two young children, I cannot fathom the struggles she has faced in her short lifetime. She told me that when she was sad or scared, watching ‘Days’ would always brighten her. I cannot begin to imagine what those words mean to someone in her shoes. She had me laughing about how angry and emotional my character often was and promised that even though she was going to have to watch a new show to learn German, ‘Days’ would always be her favorite.”

So this begs the question:  How has DAYS affected your life? Has it provided you comfort, solace, and escape throughout its 50-year run?  And what did you think of Alison’s piece for CNN on the perserverance of Nujeen? Share your thoughts below!

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  1. Llanviewer717 says:

    All the daytime dramas provide entertainment and escapism from a very stressful and difficult real world. They also provide continuity in an ever changing world. Viewers develop genuine affection for characters and the history of their shows. People want to be entertained. Too bad the very arrogant former president of daytime programming for a pitiful rival organization didn’t know that.

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  2. Steve says:

    Alison is amazing. Such a great heart. I grew up watching with my babysitter.

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  3. MBmomof3 says:

    I have just loved following this story. Allison’s piece on CNN.com reminded me how much soaps have impacted my life. From Dark Shadows to today’s remaining four, they have given me so much comfort & joy, and every emotion in between. Coincidentally, (or not so coincidentally) all 3 of my kids share their names with OLTL characters. I know times change and nothing in life is permanent, but I wish DOOL 50 more great years! I’m loving it!

    Best wishes to Nujeen on her journey. She has reminded me to appreciate life’s blessings.

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  4. Harry says:

    With all the bad news transpiring in the world leaving me feeling disheartened by my fellow man, stories like this really inject a sense of hope and optimism into my sense of humanity.
    I never get tired of this story. Now I am a huge Allison Sweeney fan as well as a NuJeen fan.

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  5. Jt says:

    Huge Steve Kayla fan. Hope we are not reverting back to just the Same hour. It’s been better lately don’t go back!

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    Jt replied

    Typo sami hour was meant.

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    nancy dillingham replied

    Count me also has a huge Kayla and Steve fan! Keep up the good work, Days!

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  6. Gmbenet says:

    Days was a great source of diversion during my college years when I was struggling to make decisions about a major or even whether or not I was even in the right school! The main storyline during that time was Marlena in the sanitarium because her twin sister Samantha has placed her there and stolen her identity. Whenever Deidre Hall would scream it would seem like she was screaming for me and my frustration.

    The other main storyline during that time was Marlena’s impending wedding to Don Craig and her struggles with his daughter Donna. When Don Craig fell off the ledge and Laura Horton had to hold Marlena down to keep her from going out the window after him, I was probably screaming too! Hard to remember after all those years, but I do know Days was tied to my emotions during that period of time.

    Eventually I became so concerned about me watching the show that I quit watching cold turkey. I was very concerned about being hooked on the show. So I stopped watching. So I missed a lot of of storylines like the Patch and Kaylah love story and the adventures of Jennifer Horton and her eventual marriage to Jack.

    From time to time I would see an episode here and there especially if it involved a character I was familiar with, but it was a long time before I started watching again. When I did, Nicole was married to Victor and scheming to get Brady!

    Eventually I stopped watching again because I didn’t like whatever storyline they were doing. But obviously I came back.

    I missed a good deal of the 1980s and 1990s. Looks like I’m back for good. Glad they are still on the air.

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  7. Shelly says:

    God bless Nujeen. Soaps in general have always been a part of my life. My grandmothers watched them. I remember the tornado on ATWT that injured Kim. I remember Renata on SFT giving birth to a baby in a burning building as David was forced to choose which one he was going to save. I thought Alan Spaulding, John Dixon, and Stefano were the most evil men on Earth (until Bradley Raines came along). I thought Rachel Cory was an angel. I watched Katherine get a face lift on live TV. I thought Dr. Miles Cavanaugh (EON) was the most handsome man on the planet. I wanted to honeymoon at Cross Creek. I longed have cocktails with H.B. and Henry on the porch at the Lewis homestead. I watched my beloved grandmother’s jaw drop when Reva jumped into the fountain and announced she was “the slut of Springfield!!”. Yes, soaps are part of my life. They’ve been with me through breakups, loss, triumph, deaths, snow storms, maternity leave, illness, hospital visits, caregiving, housecleaning, boredom, layoffs, rainy vacations, etc. May they continue forever.

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  8. mary says:

    Ron C wrote a great monologue for Vicki, B on the 2nd to last eapisode of OLTL.. the Monologue explained why people may like a Soap and what it means in their lives. Watch it, its great.

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    MBmomof3 replied

    Yes, it was very moving, quite memorable, and relatable. Ron C. at his best.

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  9. Rock says:

    Allison Sweeney and James Scott are the characters on Days of Our Lives that gave hope and inspiration to people around the world! Just like Nujeen grasped what was so real in the story line to the viewers, the human will of love to survive. In the story line, their characters overcame tragedies, disappointments, grief, families against them, and overwhelming odds, yet kept their passion and hope for love alive. In real life they they rose above bad writing and disrespect for their acting genius. These two are a once in a lifetime phenomenon that transcended all types of odds that worked against their success. They are the best talent of this century. Individually they are great, together they are mind blowing!!! Their message of love and perseverance is so real and strong it gives people hope. I didn’t even watch the soap, I only watched these two in their scenes that they made come alive. I wish Nujeen luck in finding a show that will teach her English and I pray they give her a DVD of her favorite characters that gave her hope for love in this world. This hope was given in a most inconceivable way but love triumphs over all odds. Thank you James Scott and Allison Sweeney for your unsurpassed talent and the hope it has inspired in people around the world! I feel privileged to have experienced such remarkable talent! It is so humbling to know there is such a kindred spirit in Nujeen! My Dad says “A problem is only an opportunity”….. may some movie producer give these two the opportunity to spread more hope and love.

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  10. Pamela says:

    The story of Nujeen Mustafa is one that is sweet, beautiful, inspiring and sad! That is what DOOL has been to me over the years! My mother got me hooked on the show. She first started watching it on maternity leave with me 50 years ago. I began watching it regularly when I was 11 years old. I remember when Mary Anderson and Chris Kositchek had a thing for each other, Marlena and Don were together and my second favorite to EJ and Sami —-Liz and Neil! What ever happened to them? Thank God for VCR, and now DVR! During my pregnancy with my now 14 year old daughter it helped me with the fear of my daughter being switched in the pediatric ward while Hope was going through it! Funny isn’t it! But it allowed me to discuss my fears with the hospital staff and opened the eyes of others about the safety in a hospital. And when my daughter was growing inside me I decided I wanted her to be smart, beautiful and independent and one who could handle anything thrown at her so I decided to name her Samantha. Samantha J. But her middle name is Jacklyn! She is everything I have dreamt she would be and so much more! She is 14 now and a freshman cheerleader. She is outgoing, smart, witty, alive like there is no tomorrow, and so beautiful, sweet and she never stops amazing me! Thank you Alison! And to DOOL, thank you! I will watch it forever! BTW, I keep the 6 episodes surrounding your departure for the times when I need a good cry, or to be inspired by friendship and caring during hard times like when Kate and Nicole were there for your during your loss. DOOL takes us all to another place when we need it! I will be forever grateful!

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  11. carole matthews says:

    Been watching Days od Our Lives off and on almost 50 years.Sometimes get busy wont see if for awhile but tune in and know most of the characters so right back in the groove in no time. Would like to see more of Steve and Kayla Marlena and John and by the way Steve an Kaya are best friends of years in real life. Its the only soap I watch comes on right after lunch. Convenient

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