Hi Dr. David –

Thank you again for what you’ve done.  Here’s an initial description of what I’ve been wanting to convey to you, in gratitude for what you’ve done for me.


So here’s the nutshell version of the “big idea”:

To enable Swett Family Dentistry to spearhead an effort to provide initial, free or community-sponsored dental care to girls who have been rescued from ISIS slavery. If done well and with great care (which is what  you do, and why this idea gestated in my mind specifically for you), I think it would:

(1) Be a low-cost, positive PR bonanza for SFD, and for you personally

(2) Serve to perpetually act as a means of favorably distinguishing SFD from its competitors, and do the same for any other dental practice, anywhere else, that you authorize to become an official partner in this effort

The basic theme is: these girls have a difficult time smiling, because of the hell on Earth that they have endured, through no fault of their own.  They may have special dental needs, or even coaching on basic dental hygiene practices that we take for granted – but which may be alien to them.  As part of their recovery, SFD would provide the means to help give them healthy, happy smiles, for whenever they feel well enough to begin smiling again.

And if things work out as I plan, you will have an opportunity to give this idea a trial run, with one very special young lady who hope will be coming to Charlottesville, soon.

Some detail: Me, and my friendship with Steve Maman

My background is quite varied, as a graphic designer, writer, researcher, website developer, videographer and creative consultant (info).  In recent years, I have been working to apply my skills to civic causes that I care about, but which, in general, really struggle to penetrate the public consciousness, and even when they do, are generally not very well-presented.  Much of this work, as you know, relates to dog projects.  Some, however, is focused on helping to raise awareness of the horrific things that are being done to women and girls throughout the world, and increasingly in W. Europe, in the name of a faith ideology.  I assume you know something about how ISIS is taking this to its extreme.  I have studied this in some detail, and have been devising means by which to not only discredit their narrative, but to use my publicly mock, humiliate and ridicule them – which to my knowledge, no one else is doing.

In the course of this work, I came across a man who has become a friend and personal hero of mine, Steve Maman, a Canadian businessman who has invested his time, a l lot of money and creativity to helping to rescue girls from ISIS slavery.  He created an nonprofit, CYCI International, to facilitate this work.  Due to his relentless efforts to get these girls out, and get them counseling, etc., he has earned an international reputation as “The Jewish Schindler,” a la Oskar Schindler.  Here are some articles about him, followed by some videos:

Inspired by Oscar Schindler, Jewish Businessman Leads Effort to Rescue Christian, Yazidi Girls From ISIS | Jewish & Israel News Algemeiner.com

”I don’t do this because of religion” – Exclusive: Steve Maman liberated 140 women from ISIS + VIDEO

I was so amazed by what he is doing that I put up a post about him on the website I edit for a client in NY:

How you can help save terrorized Yazidi girls : Save The West

Here are a few videos of Steve talking about his work:

Also, in the interest of fair disclosure, here is a video that discusses the controversy surrounding CYCI, and its model of raising money to pay brokers to buy back these girls.

Nehad Barkat

As you might imagine, the girls who have been rescued do not, in general, want their faces or names to be publicized.  Not just for the obvious reasons, but also for their security, and because of other factors having to do with the cultural norms in the Middle East. A few, however, have spoken out under their own names.  One of them is another personal hero of mine, whom Steve helped to rescue – Nehad Barkat.  She was captured by ISIS at age 15, held as a rape slave for 18 months, gave birth to a boy, then was able to escape thanks in part to Steve’s work.

Here is some info on her, followed by one of the video interviews she’s done:

Kidnapped by Isis at 15: ‘I never thought I’d see the day when I was free’ | Global Development Professionals Network | The Guardian

Yazidi teenager who escaped Isis sex slavery describes being forced to leave baby son behind | Middle East | News | The Independent

I don’t want to go into detail, but as I touch on a bit in my recent book, I have a special reason for admiring and empathizing with Nehad so much.

Nehad may be coming to Charlottesville, thanks to an opportunity I have opened up for her

Steve recently informed me that he will be bringing Nehad to testify before the UN and Congress, to express her frustration at how the supposedly civilized international community and superpowers can effectively ignore the plight of the thousands of other girls like her, some as young as ten, who are being terrorized in that hell on Earth, yet shower such publicity and relief efforts for Syrians who are also in the midst of a terrible conflict.

When I heard about this, I had an idea – to bring her here, if she wishes, for a specific purpose: to enable her to spend time at a horse sanctuary in Scottsville, where she can breathe in the beautiful pastoral farmlands, with horses who have also been rescued from terrible situations.  Specifically, wild Mustangs, who were rescued from abuse and neglect by Legacy Mustang Preservation, to live out their lives with dignity and love on this 600 acre ranch.

The vision of the ranch, created by Legacy’s owner, Jamie Dodson, is to match abused and neglected horses with abused and neglected kids, to help facilitate mutual healing.  Having known this, I introduced Jamie to Steve, and then to Nehad, and there is at least a prospect that she will want to come to Charlottesville for this purpose.

Enter Swett Family Dentistry

The timing of the recent several special visits I’ve paid to SFD coincided with my discovery that Steve and Nehad may follow up on my idea.  And as I come from a very traumatic childhood, it occurred to me that while Nehad’s soul may heal over time, she clearly did not exist in an environment in which dental care was available or a priority, and may be in need of the kind of gentle and respectful service that SFD provides.

So I thought, how could I express my appreciation for Dr. David and the SFD team in such a way that is beyond a “Thank you,” and would actually help advance the service that I have personally witnessed and from which I have benefited so much?  Nehad.

That is where this idea came from.

Obviously you would not want to make this thing seem like a cheap publicity stunt.  But if it is very carefully done, with a very experienced PR professional, you could document your initial interaction with her (or the other Dr. Swett, if Nehad would feel more comfortable with a female dentist), and then do some PR as to why SFD is doing this.  That these girls have so little reason to smile, and may have underlying dental issues, and that SFD is glad to play a role in helping to bring back these smiles. Or at least the ability to smile.  And to teach these girls proper oral hygiene going forward. Etc.

And if it takes off, to carefully manage its growth, to come up with a name for the project.  Perhaps openly solicit donations from your patients and local businesses, create a model that can be replicated by other dental practices throughout the US, Canada, W. Europe, etc.  And it all started with SFD, at this moment, with this idea.

I thank you again for what you’ve done for me, and welcome your thoughts.






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