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.”
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!