This Taxi Driver Has an Amazing Life Story You'll Want to Hear | Short Film Showcase

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  • Published on May 13, 2017
  • Meet Estaifan Shilaita-Chicago cab driver, loving father, and former boxing champion. From 1968 to 1976, Shilaita was the national boxing champion of Iraq before being forced to flee his home country because of his Christian faith. Although he left his boxing dreams behind, Shilaita eventually found greater happiness than he could have ever imagined.
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    The Short Film Showcase spotlights exceptional short videos created by filmmakers from around the web and selected by National Geographic editors. We look for work that affirms National Geographic's belief in the power of science, exploration, and storytelling to change the world. The filmmakers created the content presented, and the opinions expressed are their own, not those of National Geographic Partners.

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    In this heartwarming film by Brett Garamella and Patrick McGowan, hear Chicago taxi driver Estaifan Shilaita’s incredible tale of family, faith, and fulfillment.

    Brett Garamella: brettgaramella.com/
    Patrick McGowan: www.patrickmcgowan.com/

    This Taxi Driver Has an Amazing Life Story You'll Want to Hear | Short Film Showcase
    thexvid.com/video/Ov4MXWKMxjE/video.html

    National Geographic
    thexvid.com/user/natgeo

Comments • 990

  • Jimmy Gupta
    Jimmy Gupta 4 years ago +438

    Fantastically inspiring story. My grandfather is from India, and came to America with $200 and a suitcase. He met my grandmother and, although against old Catholic traditions (him being Indian and her being German/Irish), married her. They started a doctor's office together and became wealthy against all odds. Sadly, my grandfather passed away several years ago, but he goes to show that it does not matter where you come from or what you look like. Your life is your own, and it is your choice whether you want to do something with it or not.

    • Spiritually Awake
      Spiritually Awake 2 years ago +1

      she didn't run across the border, have an anchor baby, get every kind of welfare she could and then proudly waive the flag of where she came while cursing America .

      I'm grateful that immigrants like your grandfather came here and contributed to our nation of legal immigrants

    • R Mtd
      R Mtd 4 years ago +9

      200 $ that time was huge dude.

    • Abhishek Sharma
      Abhishek Sharma 4 years ago +4

      Ike First read, explore,and get your facts about india correct. Surely,some of indian villages have such background,but this is not about india,this is about parts of india.Come ,and visit delhi, mumbai, you'll surely have a good stay here. It's just prejudices, Westerners have about india,like we have some absurd prejudices about west.

    • Ekkar
      Ekkar 4 years ago +1

      Flee his home country because of his Christian faith?....What?.....Why anyone has to questioned because of his Religion of Preference.....Regardless He is Muslim, Jew, Gay or Buddhist.....What's going on world?....We are even welcoming the Refugees from war torn countries...Hello......its 2017 and he has to "Flee his home country because of his Christian faith"?

    • Music School
      Music School 4 years ago +2

      Your a dirty pig!

  • Meli M
    Meli M 4 years ago +51

    If you ever read this Mr. Estefan I want you to know that I admire you. People like you make me feel hope for this messy world we live in. Your wife and kids are so fortunate to have you! God bless you all 🙏🏽💕✨✨✨✨

  • sina estiak
    sina estiak 4 years ago +263

    being called by his kids and wife that -
    he is a Champion,
    that is the Billion dollar asset he has ... bless him ...

    • Dove
      Dove 3 years ago +1

      Yes, Lord bless them.

  • Simone Ammon
    Simone Ammon 4 years ago +34

    The most beautiful thing that he said was that he tells people he has "4 million dollars, that his kids are his treasure!!" Those kids are so blessed to have such a loving father, this guy certainly has his priorities straight!

  • Brian Vecchiarelli
    Brian Vecchiarelli 4 years ago +88

    I got this guy randomly as my cab driver last time I was in Chicago for work. Played the guessing game with where he was from and guessed babylonian - pulled out all my 5th grade ancient history lessons for that one. Thanks for the ride Estaifan!

    • Ste E
      Ste E 3 years ago +4

      Brian Vecchiarelli Small world.

  • Vincent Maurice
    Vincent Maurice 4 years ago +58

    While watching i got teary eyes..what an amazing father and husband he is.. GOD bless them more.

  • Chef Rafi's Awesome World
    Chef Rafi's Awesome World 4 years ago +150

    Publish more stories like this. Lots of people have fantastic stories to tell. 👨‍🍳👍😊

  • Purple Nebulae
    Purple Nebulae 4 years ago +31

    This is the kind of content national geographic should deliver more of. The study of human lives is so interesting

  • M Lynn
    M Lynn 4 years ago +1

    My favourite part of this video was when the couple genuinely confirmed their love for each other in front of the camera. It's so heartwarming to see this couple still have spark and love in their marriage even after so many years of being together. I'm sure their marriage was never perfect either but they worked on love, admiration, respect, selflessness and forgiveness for one another.

  • Kael Kristjanson
    Kael Kristjanson 4 years ago +9

    Very touching story and really makes you look at your life differently.

  • Mathapelo Nyembe
    Mathapelo Nyembe Year ago +6

    3 years later and watching this makes me cry. So overwhelmingly beautiful!!!

  • esparda07
    esparda07 4 years ago +11

    What a good-natured bunch of people.

  • Catherine Correia
    Catherine Correia 4 years ago +2

    This is the feel good video of the year and worth sharing with all your friends on social media. What a great family..May God bless this humble man and his family...he is a perfect example of a person who is thankful for all that he has in life...

  • msfatbooty06
    msfatbooty06 4 years ago +139

    This man is the true reason why America is so fucking great. and the love he has for his wife and family this is a real man. Do what he can to make a better life for generations to follow. Whew lord he is a blessing to this world

    • Fiona 90
      Fiona 90 4 years ago +3

      gianni arnoldons you clearly never heard about third world countries :)

    • Tom Bombadil
      Tom Bombadil 4 years ago +2

      msfatbooty06 that country is full of shit. Sorry to burst ur buble

    • Mohamad Mohd
      Mohamad Mohd 4 years ago +5

      yes, your country is the land of opportunity. I wish one day I will be there

  • leyzork
    leyzork 4 years ago +5

    What a powerful story. Love always finds a way. If you spread love, love will come to you. Enjoy life and be grateful for all the people who make you feel joy and happiness. Thanks for sharing his story.

  • Winterborne
    Winterborne 2 years ago +1

    What an amazing family, to push him forward and encourage him to leave so that he can be his best. I have always dealt with the opposite, having to fight to get away, grow, and pursue my dreams.

  • teresa
    teresa 4 years ago +3

    Thank you for such a great story. We need more stories like this

  • Helen Light
    Helen Light 9 months ago +1

    Such a great person he is ! May God bless him more and more .

  • Mariam Mattin Real Estate

    Beautiful story - made me cry when his wife told him she loves him - great man with positive attitude- wish u all the best

  • Paola Bueso
    Paola Bueso 4 years ago +1

    He is a true inspiration! And in my mind, the essence of what it means to live successfully. What a beautiful family! Thank you so much for sharing this!

  • Green Piqued
    Green Piqued 4 years ago +1

    Amazing man, inspiring story---a feel good vid. Thanks & more happiness & health to you Estefan & your family. The world needs more of you.

  • Samuel Behfarshad
    Samuel Behfarshad 4 years ago +5

    An amazing story for an amazing person.

  • Nik Halaszi
    Nik Halaszi 4 years ago +4

    He drove my 2 kids, wife, and I from Gerideno Pizza to the Bean last June. We didn't talk for long but he was a great way to start our 48 state trip and someone we still talk about. I can't wait to show my wife this.

  • Dienel Sanson
    Dienel Sanson 4 years ago

    Love the story his dedication, hardship, motivation, and goals.

  • j bre
    j bre 4 years ago

    What an amazing family.... Estaifan, his nephew, his wife, their kids.... i love this story!

  • The Ronaldo Photography
    The Ronaldo Photography 4 years ago +8

    Beautiful story...amazing production.. kudos to the team!

  • Shenele R
    Shenele R 4 years ago +3

    I love this story, what a good man!

  • skArpPT
    skArpPT 4 years ago +1

    need to do more stories like this! I loved it.

  • Lemon ased
    Lemon ased 4 years ago +3

    Great story, thank you for showing it to us.

  • Romeo Jan
    Romeo Jan 4 years ago +20

    Their story and love to each other inspires me

  • mike
    mike Year ago

    What a story ! What a champ! God bless you and your family.

  • E O
    E O 4 years ago +1

    Loved this story!! Thank you for the semi click bait Nat Geo!!! lol I genuinely am glad you all made a story about this wonderful and awesome family✌️❤️

  • Saybah Tenny
    Saybah Tenny 4 years ago +1

    Very emotional story, I'm from a country that had so much wars now I'm raising my two kids here in America, when I tell them how privileged they are they don't get it, I pray that our children someday appreciate the blessings they have living in the land of the free

  • bpanther
    bpanther 4 years ago +3

    This story brought tears to my eyes… God Bless them all. Love and Peace.

  • Luis Mtz
    Luis Mtz 4 years ago

    Amazing story! It truly is a story of a champion.

  • jenica paulo
    jenica paulo 4 years ago

    He is definitely a champion. What an amazing story !

  • Wayne MacDonald
    Wayne MacDonald 4 years ago +1

    Life truly is what you make of it. An amazing inspirational story.

  • Michael 732
    Michael 732 4 years ago +7

    I would love to meet this guy.

  • Jack Leeds
    Jack Leeds 4 years ago +2

    What an amazing story, God bless you man.

  • Sinlo Kemp
    Sinlo Kemp 4 years ago

    A beautiful and inspirational story! pursuit of happiness exemplified. I've learned so much from this one short documentary. Keep inspiring us NatGeo with more beautiful stories. Thank you.

  • 2.FRESH! 76
    2.FRESH! 76 4 years ago

    A lovely story. All the best to you and your family.

  • Michelle Pechie
    Michelle Pechie 4 years ago +1

    Such a lovely story. Thank you for telling it.

  • E H
    E H 4 years ago

    What a beautiful story and an awesome testimony. I am such a complainer, but hearing his story compels me to change, to be a better Christian. Thank you Champion Estefan! You and your family are absolutely beautiful! God's continued blessings upon you all!

  • Suzan H
    Suzan H 4 years ago +1

    I'm so lucky to have been blessed with a Dad like that too!!! Thanks for the show! ;-)

  • Gail Barr
    Gail Barr 4 years ago

    What an amazing story. A beautiful husband, father a real champion. Watched from New Zealand.

  • Salih Doughramaji
    Salih Doughramaji 4 years ago

    A great and inspirational story. God bless that family.

  • Vinod Karki
    Vinod Karki 4 years ago +17

    amazing story of an amazing person.

  • Yne Cö
    Yne Cö 4 years ago +9

    National Geographic stepping it up with these killer contents. Lately I'm finding these guys to be more inspirational than TED.

  • Jordan Thomas
    Jordan Thomas 4 years ago +2

    I love the way they recount how they first met, its so fresh in their minds!

  • whovista1
    whovista1 4 years ago +1

    Thank You for sharing your amazing story, and for sharing your perpetual positive attitude.

  • John Wayne
    John Wayne 4 years ago +3

    Wow Estaifan you have had a hard life, a beautiful outcome and an amazing story, that's what you call Life

  • vapete 123
    vapete 123 2 months ago

    What an endearing story of suffering, love and survival ..

  • Lucis Sheridan
    Lucis Sheridan 10 months ago +1

    Every time I lose faith in this country a story like this comes along and my spirit is filled again.

  • Jaime Brown
    Jaime Brown 4 years ago +4

    What a beautiful heart felt story.

  • Maaz Syed
    Maaz Syed 3 years ago

    I was playing at my park in front of my house and he approached me and was so kind and such a humble human being need more people like him in the world

  • Mark Koscar
    Mark Koscar 4 years ago

    Another example of how important it is to appreciate the things you have

  • AriMax*~
    AriMax*~ 4 years ago

    brilliant story. I wish him and his family all the best

  • Luticia
    Luticia 4 years ago +13

    My life is a struggle and fight,too. But the difference between he and me is that he is surrounded by love which I've never experienced. It makes me happy for him, sad for me and jealous at the same time.

    • Issa Azrael
      Issa Azrael 2 years ago

      Perhaps your journey is to find love, no matter how late it be.

    • Mike Johnson
      Mike Johnson 4 years ago

      luticia : you have a #1 thumbnail

  • John Choe
    John Choe 4 years ago +2

    Beautiful! Just beautiful! God bless you Estefan, and your family.

  • DJ Manish
    DJ Manish Year ago

    Such an inspiring story..please keep on uploading more episodes like this..

  • f*ck youtube
    f*ck youtube 4 years ago +67

    i am chaldean which is basically Assyrian so to hear a story of people of the same culture it makes me really happy to be what i am.

  • Joel Muriuki
    Joel Muriuki 4 years ago

    I love this story. I can watch it 10 more times :)

  • Phylicia ATL
    Phylicia ATL 4 years ago

    such a beautiful story.. so nice to see someone happy during these times...very nice

  • Io Sor
    Io Sor 4 years ago

    It is amazing life stories behind most cab drivers and is so sad that some people can be so rude to them for no reason. It's a shame.

  • Ahnaf Tech
    Ahnaf Tech 4 years ago +5

    What a remarkable man!

  • Michał Szpunar
    Michał Szpunar 2 years ago

    Beautiful story!
    I love this kind of tales of normal, unknown people who have a very interesting and fascinating life. Do you know any podcast (or TheXvid channel) with this kind of stories in English? I would like to hear more. If someone who is reading this is from Poland I can recommend radio show: "Godzina prawdy" (Hour of Truth) from Radio Three. It's awesome. For a very long time I was listening to this.

  • Matthew Offenbacher
    Matthew Offenbacher Year ago +2

    Wonderful. Great story. Love this because gratitude is beautiful.

  • steve watt
    steve watt 4 years ago

    What a nice man love his story great family 😃

  • Muhammad Khan
    Muhammad Khan 4 years ago +1

    Great story and wish you all the very best in your life.... A great Dad and a wonderful husband and indeed a wonderful lady....:)

  • Mark Young
    Mark Young 4 years ago

    Wow what an amazing Story. I can relate to you Mr & Mrs Strfan, as I'm where you was years ago ; left my country when I was young; for similar reason ; and I'm still trying to find a place that I call home. I want to thank you for your inspiring story. I was in tears watching it; as it reminded me of my family & friends I no longer am able to see. Hope fate will be kind.
    God Bless you and your entire family. God Bless the USA for giving you chance to live a normal life & give future to your (4million) blessed children.
    From
    H. Markos

  • MT S
    MT S 4 years ago

    what a sweet love story! Hoping we all get to experience it one day...

  • Goo Lim
    Goo Lim 4 years ago +1

    Amazing and inspiring story!!

  • Cyrus De Virus
    Cyrus De Virus 4 years ago +2

    WOW thank you for sharing this story, what an amazing family.

  • S. R. Sehgal
    S. R. Sehgal 4 years ago +2

    A hero. A champion. Beautifully done.

  • Greg B
    Greg B 4 years ago +4

    Love is the best treasure a person can have. Great video

  • Tou Mosh
    Tou Mosh 4 years ago

    I love this guy. Wow if I could be one tenth of the way this beautiful soul is I would consider my life worthy. If I could in my misérably life have one tenth the wisdom that he possesses I would be ready to meet my maker. Thank you for this profound story. Thank you sir for being here. I truely love you and your wonderful family.

  • Ahmed Al-kanan
    Ahmed Al-kanan 4 years ago +69

    Great Champ, Our greetings regards and love from BASRA, IRAQ .
    wish you all the happiness and joy.

  • Raquel Rodriguez
    Raquel Rodriguez 4 years ago

    so encouraged by his story. A true example of perseverance in the midst of great adversity.

  • Coffee Cup
    Coffee Cup 4 years ago

    Good history lesson. A blessing to learn other cultures

  • Nialee Mass
    Nialee Mass 4 years ago

    Estaifan, you and your family brought to tears....beautiful, blessed, motivating. Thank you, May many see and feel, understand, remember like so many families here, that auffer, striggle, work hard and love AMERICA!

  • LadyLuck Decor
    LadyLuck Decor Year ago +1

    what a guy! Thanks for sharing his inspiring years. WOW it really is about attitude.

  • Bravo Sierra
    Bravo Sierra 2 years ago

    Watching this in 2019 & this film matters now and forever more. Thanks Brett & Patrick.

  • The Ridiculously Optimistic Guy

    God bless this family. A father and his family to look up to. Wow.

  • banyaga tiger
    banyaga tiger 4 years ago

    These are the stories that gives humanity hope.... despite all the hardships we have in life... thanks for letting us meet this family.

  • Music School
    Music School 4 years ago

    Amazing guy. So inspiring to just be happy. From now on i will never complain. Thank you.

  • Lance Fernandes
    Lance Fernandes 8 months ago

    Truly inspiring 👍

  • Samwise Gamgee
    Samwise Gamgee 4 years ago

    I respect his story, I know stories like this one for about hundred thousand, and they are at least even in the hardship, most of them are from south eastern europe, africa and asia... I know what this guy been through, I respect him a lot I know exactly how he felt

  • __D_K__
    __D_K__ 4 years ago +3

    What a beautiful story thanks for sharing this with us. Love from Australia.

  • Brein Edgar Mediante
    Brein Edgar Mediante 4 years ago

    Great story of love, family and freedom.. God bless

  • TSERING BASNYET
    TSERING BASNYET 4 years ago +1

    So much love !! Many wishes !! Amazing story !!

  • guracha bati
    guracha bati 4 years ago +1

    Good man. Amazing father and great champ

  • himo kadah
    himo kadah 4 years ago +6

    this was so good please do more of these

  • Erin Holden
    Erin Holden 8 months ago

    Love this story!! 😀 Thanku for sharing this 💓

  • Namkai Tshering
    Namkai Tshering 4 years ago

    Bless his family. Very inspiring.

  • respinoza89
    respinoza89 4 years ago

    just goes to show you, you never know the lives of the people we encounter in our daily lives. Amazing story.

  • Ian Clark
    Ian Clark 4 years ago

    So many people with unique stories out there. It is a great pleasure to just sit and listen to someone's story.

  • Shanice Ma
    Shanice Ma 4 years ago +2

    You're amazing. Thank you for sharing your story champion.

  • Anny A
    Anny A 4 years ago

    Yes, beautiful story 💟GOD bless this family.

  • Sunflowers Are Awesome

    A wonderful story! We should all be as grateful as they are. Though I don't always agree with my government, I have more freedom and peace here than many other places! I'm happy for them. They have beautiful children, especially that son of his (Hehehe). They are what the American dream used to stand for. I wish them continued happiness and blessings!

  • Dream Film
    Dream Film 4 years ago +18

    i am from india ...i like this story very much..god bless us all

    • Tommy Vok
      Tommy Vok 4 years ago +5

      allah bless india... from Qatar

    • Booker
      Booker 4 years ago +1

      PATRIOT WORLD 007 -- God bless you.