A 6-year-old from New York was so moved by the images of Omran Daqneesh, a Syrian boy seen covered in dust and blood after surviving airstrikes in Aleppo, that he wrote to President Barack Obama asking if Omran could come and live with his family.
Obama first read portions of Alex’s letter at the Leaders’ Summit on the Global Refugee Crisis, which he hosted at the United Nations on Tuesday. He then released an adorable video Wednesday night of Alex reading the letter at his Scarsdale home.
“Dear President Obama, remember the boy who was picked up by the ambulance in Syria?” Alex read from his family’s dining room table. “Can you please go get him and bring him to our home? We’ll be waiting for you guys with flags, flowers and balloons.”
Alex said his sister Catherine would collect butterflies for Omran, and he would teach Omran how to ride a bike and how to add and subtract. He would introduce him to his friends.
“We can all play together,” Alex continued. “We will invite him to birthday parties and he can teach us another language.”
There are currently about 20 million refugees around the world, including almost 5 million from Syria alone. A total of 65 million people are displaced from their homes ― that’s more than at any time since World War II.
As world leaders gathered this week to discuss solutions to the crisis, Obama used the letter to urge people to be more accepting of refugees.
“Those are the words of a 6-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,” Obama wrote on Facebook. “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.”
His summit complemented the U.N. General Assembly’s first-ever summit on refugees and migrants, held Monday. Participants in Obama’s meeting were nations and organizations that had pledged financial assistance toward improving education and employment opportunities for refugees around the world. In total, Obama gathered $4.5 billion in commitments, including $1 billion from the U.S.
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