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‘This Is Us’ fans take to Twitter thanking real-life genius who kept us connected during the pandemic

Tuesday’s episode of This Is Us was all about staying connected, as the Pearsons navigated huge family milestones from a distance due to COVID-19.

While Madison was in labor, waiting for Kevin to fly to her from his movie set, it was only due to Randall and Beth staying with her over FaceTime, that she didn’t feel alone in the hospital. And due to COVID protocol, Toby wasn’t allowed to be present in the room for the birth of his daughter, as only one person, Kate, could be in the room with the birth mom. While major additions to the Pearson family were happening, Rebecca was able to suppress her guilt of not being with her children, also through FaceTime. Video calls, especially during the covid-era, may not be something we think twice about. So, during this week’s episode, viewers were amazed to learn the story of Nasir Ahmed.

This Is Us is known for their flashbacks as a way to create the backstories of our beloved characters. On Tuesday, viewers were introduced to two new characters, Esther and Nasir Ahmed. While we all assumed it was the backstory of Miguel’s parents (seriously, stop trying to make Miguel happen!), the introduction of Esther and Nasir was even more significant.

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This Is Us told the story of one night in the ’70s, when Nasir arrived almost four hours late for dinner with his son. When Esther asked him what was more important than his family, he revealed he had come close to creating an algorithm, which could potentially allow people to call each other by video.

No, Miguel’s dad did not invent FaceTime.

At the end of the episode, This Is Us explained who Nasir Ahmed is in real life and how he and his team are responsible for keeping us connected today.

Underneath an image of Nasir read, “In the 1970s, Nasir Ahmed led a team of researchers who developed the Discrete Cosine Transform… This technique is still used by companies as part of their image and video sharing technology. You don’t know his name, but Nasir and his team are responsible for keeping us connected today. He and his wife Esther recently celebrated their 56th anniversary.” The final picture was a screenshot of Nasir and Esther on a video call with the creative team behind This Is Us, Dan Fogelman and Jess Rosenthal, stating, “We video chatted to hear their story.”

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Following the episode, viewers took to social media to thank Nasir for keeping us connected during the pandemic. Below are some of the most popular:

This Is Us airs Tuesdays at 9 p.m. on NBC.

Watch how ‘This Is Us’ had fans experiencing a wave of emotions following a month-long cliffhanger:

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