On Christmas Eve this year, against the backdrop of rising numbers of attacks on mosques and alleged hate crimes against Muslims, there was a small act of kindness at an Olive Garden in Augusta, Georgia.
A Muslim family was dining at the restaurant, when someone anonymously paid the bill for them. One of the diners, Eslam Mohamed, recounted the story in a Facebook post on the following day, adding that it must have been obvious to everyone in the restaurant that his group of seven adults and five children was Muslim, because of the language they were speaking and because the women were wearing hijabs.
Mohamed, a student at Augusta University, posted a photo of the receipt with the message written on it: "Paid. Merry Christmas, Beautiful Family."
"Yes, someone paid for us and wrote those wonderful words on the receipt. I can't express how this act touched our hearts," Mohamed wrote in the post. "Among all the bad things happening to Muslims and the hate speech that the presidential candidate had made lately , there is still light in the dark, there is still hope within the frustration."