Strangers Pay for Muslim Family's Dinner at Olive Garden

Christmas spirit was in high gear at an Olive Garden in Augusta, Georgia, when strangers paid for a Muslim family's dinner on Thursday, according to a now-viral Facebook post. The family, a group of seven adults and five children, was noticeable for speaking Arab and wearing hijabs, according to one of its members, an Eslam Mohamed. The waitress returned with the $138 receipt, which read "Paid. Merry Christmas Beautiful Family." 

The family has no inkling who paid the bill. 

"I can't express how this act touched our hearts," Mohamed wrote. "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." 

The presidential candidate Mohamed refers to is likely Republican frontrunner Donald Trump, who called for a "total and complete shutdown" of Muslims entering the U.S. In November, Trump promoted a controversial plan for stricter surveillance of Muslims entering and living in the U.S. through the use of ID cards or a database. 

Terrorist attacks in Paris and San Bernardino, California, seemed to have fanned the flames of Islamophobia, which has been steadily on the rise since the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks. 

"All what i can say to who did that, Merry Christmas to you too and God bless such a beautiful heart you have," Mohamed wrote. Since being posted on Christmas Eve, the post has been shared more than 20,000 times. 

How likely are you to make Mic your go-to news source?

Kathleen Wong

Kathleen is a branded content staff writer at Mic. She is based in New York and can be reached at kathleen@mic.com.

MORE FROM

Charleena Lyles was a "powerful lady" — until she faced Seattle's flawed criminal justice system

Like Charleena Lyles, women who experience mental health instabilities have been more likely than men to encounter a criminal justice system that is ill-equipped to treat them.

NFL players donate $20,000 to youth football team that was punished for national anthem protest

"We wanted to make sure that we sent those kids the message that it's OK to stand up for what you believe in," Malcolm Jenkins said.

10 things you might have recently missed in the movement for social justice

From Charleena Lyles and Nabra Hassanen to acquittals and vigils, the last few days haven't been easy to keep up with.

Judge declares mistrial in retrial of officer who fatally shot Samuel DuBose

The jury spent five days deliberating Ray Tensing's fate.

University of Missouri to revoke Bill Cosby's honorary degree

The president of Mizzou said Cosby's actions were not in line with the university's core beliefs.

The Movement for Black Lives responds to recent claims of a fractured coalition

"We make no assumptions that everyone and everything within our movement is perfect — far from it," organizers said.

Charleena Lyles was a "powerful lady" — until she faced Seattle's flawed criminal justice system

Like Charleena Lyles, women who experience mental health instabilities have been more likely than men to encounter a criminal justice system that is ill-equipped to treat them.

NFL players donate $20,000 to youth football team that was punished for national anthem protest

"We wanted to make sure that we sent those kids the message that it's OK to stand up for what you believe in," Malcolm Jenkins said.

10 things you might have recently missed in the movement for social justice

From Charleena Lyles and Nabra Hassanen to acquittals and vigils, the last few days haven't been easy to keep up with.

Judge declares mistrial in retrial of officer who fatally shot Samuel DuBose

The jury spent five days deliberating Ray Tensing's fate.

University of Missouri to revoke Bill Cosby's honorary degree

The president of Mizzou said Cosby's actions were not in line with the university's core beliefs.

The Movement for Black Lives responds to recent claims of a fractured coalition

"We make no assumptions that everyone and everything within our movement is perfect — far from it," organizers said.