Learn why this image of a Syrian father and daughter went viral
Parents do anything in order to provide for their children even if they have nothing in their pockets. They will steal, beg and will go anywhere to make life for their children.
But when you have to leave your own country due to war, uproot your whole life and then need to make a start from scratch, it becomes more doubly difficult for them to do so. Here is one such story of a man who was forced to flee from his home country of Syria.
1 The Backstory
The image shown here is of Abdul and his daughter Reem. Abdul is Palestinian man who lives with his 2 children in Yarmouk refugee camp in Syria. He is one of the 4 million registered refugees who have left Syria which has been torn apart due to war that it is fighting against the Islamic State group.
Abdul sued to work in a chocolate factory back in his native Syria, but now he tries to raise his 2 children buy selling pens on the streets of Beirut, Lebanon.
2 A good Samaritan notices him
He was noticed by the founder of Conflict News, Gissur Simonarson. Simornarson is an activist from Oslo Norway and he posted the images of this man selling pens with his daughter sleeping on his shoulder.
The image immediately went viral with over 6000 followers sharing the image and he was flooded with requests for helping this man. “It’s a terribly emotional picture,” Simonarson told CNN. “You see the look in his face and just the way he holds the pens out, as if those pens are everything he has in the world.”
But Simonarson didn’t know who this man was and so he took the help of social media and requested other activists to locate this man using hashtag #BuyPens.
3 The identity is finally revealed of the anonymous pen seller
It took 2 days to locate him and the Abdul the pen seller was quite overwhelmed to know that he was the prime subject of an international search. Carol Malouf who was the activist, who found Abdul, also met his 4 year old daughter Reem, who was happy to meet her and took a selfie with her.
“Reem came to me, hugged me & asked to take a selfie,” Malouf wrote on Twitter. “What a lovely lively child in a modest home full of love.
4 Help pours in for Abdul
Simonarson set up a crowd funding page for Abdul and urged users to collect $5000 to help the single father of 2 children. It took only 30 minutes for the goal to accomplish.
3000 people raised a total of $80,000 in just 24 hours. “When he (Abdul) heard the amount, he just broke down and started crying,” Simonarson says, “He was so thankful and he kept saying thank you for all your generosity.”
Abdul also plans to help other refugees with this money. “Thank you to everyone who put a smile on the face of Reem and her father,” one social media user wrote in Arabic, “We have accomplished something with this case. Please look for more cases like this.”