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6-Year-Old Boy Offers Home to Syrian Refugee in Letter to Obama

The wounded Syrian child was seen in newspapers around the world



    President Obama was so moved by it that he read it at this week's UN Refugee Summit. John Chandler reports. (Published Thursday, Sept. 22, 2016)

    The world was horrified by images of a wounded Syrian child sitting dazed and bloodied in an ambulance after an airstrike in Aleppo last month, and now a 6-year-old from New York is offering the boy a home. 

    The White House posted a copy Wednesday night of the handwritten letter from "Alex" to President Barack Obama. Alex asks the president to bring the boy, identified as Omran Daqneesh, "who was picked up by the ambulance in Syria" to his home in Scarsdale.

    "Can you please go get him and bring him," he wrote. "We'll be waiting for you guys with flags, flowers, and balloons. We will give him a family and he will be our brother."

    The administration also released a video of Alex reading his letter, along with footage of Obama sharing it at a United Nations refugee summit in New York City this week. Obama told world leaders that the letter was from a child "who hasn't learned to be cynical, or suspicious, or fearful of other people because of where they’re from, or how they look, or how they pray, and who just understands the notion of treating somebody that is like him with compassion, with kindness."

    "We can all learn from Alex," the president noted.

    As of Thursday morning, the video had been viewed more than 4 million times and shared more than 82,000 times on Facebook. 

    Omran Daqneesh, a young boy wounded in Syria whose image was on the front page of newspapers around the world.
    Photo credit: EFE

    The Syrian boy's three siblings and parents were also rescued from the rubble after their building in Aleppo was bombed. His 10-year-old brother died as a result of injuries. One of the cameramen who filmed him said he had never seen such a look of shock on a child's face. 

    The image of the stunned and weary looking boy, sitting in an orange chair inside an ambulance covered in dust and with blood on his face, encapsulated the horrors inflicted on the war-ravaged northern city and was widely shared on social media.

    See Portraits of Some of the 700,000 Syrian Child RefugeesSee Portraits of Some of the 700,000 Syrian Child Refugees