New York Boy Who Offered Home to Refugee Meets President Obama | NECN
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New York Boy Who Offered Home to Refugee Meets President Obama

The wounded Syrian child was seen in newspapers around the world

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    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 in August, but a 6-year-old from New York who offered the boy a home lifted peoples' spirits.

    That boy has now gone to Washington to meet President Barack Obama.

    The White House posted a copy in late September of the handwritten letter from "Alex" to President 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."

    On Thursday night, the White House posted video of Alex and his family meeting the president last week.

    "I was very proud of you," the president told Alex in an Oval Office meeting.

    Obama shared Alex's letter at a UN refugee summit in New  York City in September, telling 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.

    A video of the boy reading his letter has been viewed more than 28 million 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