A six-year-old boy named Alex witnessed the heartbreaking images of children in Aleppo, Syria. One picture in particular caught his eye and, unable to stand by and do nothing, penned a letter to US President Barack Obama.
The image that launched Alex’ request to the President? The Syrian boy Omran Daqneesh, who was photographed covered in dirt while sitting in an ambulance with a shell-shocked expression and blood running down the side of his face.
“Dear President Obama,” the letter began. “Remember the boy who was picked up by the ambulance in Syria?
“Can you please go get him and bring him to our home? Park in the driveway or on the street and we’ll be waiting for you guys with flags, flowers and balloons.
“We will give him a family and he will be our brother. Catherine, my little sister, will be collecting butterflies and fireflies for him.
“In my school, I have a friend from Syria, Omar. I will introduce him to Omar, and we can all play together. We can invite him to birthday parties and he will teach us another language.
“Since he won’t bring toys and doesn’t have toys, Catherine will share her big blue stripy white bunny. And I will share my bike and I will teach him how to ride it. I will teach him addition and subtraction…”
President Obama shared a video of Alex reading the letter on Facebook, along with a caption explaining how young Alex is and how easily a single heartbreaking image moved him to make a request to bring the child into his home.
The President shared Alex’s words at a United Nations summit on refugees and added: “These are the words of a six-year-old boy — a young child who has not learned to be cynical or suspicious or fearful of other people because of where they come from, how they look, or how they pray.
“We should all be more like Alex. Imagine what the world would look like if we were. Imagine the suffering we could ease and the lives we could save. Listen to Alex, read his letter, and I think you’ll understand why I shared it with the world.”
According to the UN High Commissioner for Refugees, the world faces the largest displacement crisis ever recorded.
Over 65 million people were forced to flee their homes due to violence, persecution and instability. The world’s response? Sanctuary, assistance in the form of shelter, medical care, basic services, school and jobs – but the crisis remains a growing problem and the United Nations have come together to discuss options to offer further assistance.
The White House aide refugees page then explained Obama’s plan to welcome 100,000 refugees to the United States in 2017 after they pass thorough screening tests, examinations and are run through law enforcement and intelligence community databases.