While diplomats debate over the Syrian crisis, a six-year-old from New York has written to US President Barack Obama offering help. According to reports, Scarsdale resident Alex wrote to Obama offering to adopt five-year-old Aleppo resident, Omran Daqneesh, and make him “his brother.”
Omran’s house in Aleppo had been hit by an airstrike and rescue workers managed to pull him out safely out of the rubble few weeks ago. Sitting in the ambulance, the little Syrian toddler was seen wiping off blood from his face without even the tiniest hint of emotion. The image of Omran, caked in blood and dirt, had catapulted the Syrian agony to the forefront. People across the globe were disturbed by the horror in Syria.
Alex, however, was so moved by it that he decided to invite Omran to stay with him. In his letter, the little New Yorker writes, “Dear President Obama, 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.”
Also read | What choices do children in Syria have?
Obama read out Alex’s letter at the Leaders’ Summit on Refugees and said we could all learn from him. “He teaches us a lot. The humanity a young child can display, who hasnt 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… We can all learn from Alex,” said Obama amid applause.
In a video posted by POTUS on Facebook, Alex can be seen reading the letter where he said he would teach Omran how to ride a bike. The video has garnered over 3 million views and close to 2,00,000 shares at the time of writing.
“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 wont bring toys and doesnt 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,” says Alex.
Urging people to be more like him, President Obama wrote in his Facebook post, “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.”
Omran is not the only child who has suffered in the Syrian war that has ravaged thousands of households since 2011. The war has displaced close to 4.3 million, and at least half of them are children.