Abdul Halim al-Attar is one of the many people in this world affected by poverty. He makes a living by selling pens on the streets of Beirut with his daughter on his back.
Abdul is actually a Syrian refugee, displaced to another area due to the ongoing conflict in his home country, which is now ruled by terror groups. But Beirut has long been a victim of suicide bombings too, and Abdul and his family were few of the unfortunate victims of the attacks. Until one day, a complete stranger took a photo of him and shared it.
The photo quickly went viral, with so many people being humbled at the sight, while others were overcome with sadness. Unfortunately, this is a reality that many face today.
The photo inspired Norweigian Web developer Gissur Simonarso to call for help on behalf of Abdul.
The photo also touched the hearts of many, so a big amount of funds was raised for the family. A whopping amount of $200,000 was gathered, enough to assist Abdul.
Abdul had a precise plan to invest the kind donation wisely. He started out by opening various shops across Lebanon.
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But Abdul, having experienced the hellish life a refugee is forced to live, did a selfless act to help people like him. With the blessing he received, he pays it forward by employing other Syrian refugees to work for his chain of restaurants.
His well-earned money from running the restaurants also provided a proper home for Abdul and his family. It includes a 2-bedroom apartment, coupled with new clothes and warm food.
“Not only did my life change, but also the lives of my children and the lives of people in Syria whom I helped,” Abdul proudly said. He has also gone out of his way to assist other family members who are left behind in Syria so they can start anew.
Abdul has humble words to say of how his family perceive of him: “They just greet me better now when they see me. They respect me more.”
Abdul is not alone. There are still many refugees out there who, like him, have to face the grim reality caused by ongoing civil wars they did not start. But the act of kindness he received clearly resonated to other people, and with how he’s helping his fellow refugees, he should be regarded as a hero born in a war-torn land.