Schoolboy writes to Obama offering Syrian Omran a home

Schoolboy writes to Obama offering Syrian Omran a home
President Obama said he received a letter from a child "who hasn't learned to be cynical, or suspicious, or fearful" when he shared Alex's words at this week's UN summit
2 min read
22 September, 2016

The photo of Omran Daqneesh, a Syrian boy sat in an ambulance wiping blood and dust from his hands after yet another bombing raid in Aleppo, shocked millions across the world.

The image quickly came to represent the devastating toll of Syria's war, which has so far claimed 400,000 lives and forced 4.2 million to flee - the vast majority by the Syrian regime.

But while many in the West remain untouched by these heartbreaking images and want to keep refugees out of their countries, there is still hope that sympathy prevails with younger generations.

US President Barack Obama had one example. He told an audience about a letter he recieved by an American boy, which he says should be a lesson for all of us about humanity.

Alex, from New York, wrote to the White House offering a place in his family for Omran, the toddler injured in the regime bombing.

Sharing Alex's moving words at the UN refugee summit this week, Obama said the letter was from a child "who hasn't learned to be cynical, or suspicious, or fearful".

"Dear President Obama, remember the boy who was picked up by the ambulance in Syria?" Alex wrote.

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

"We can all play together. We can invite him to birthday parties and he will teach us another language. I can't wait for you to come!"

The White House shared a video of Alex reading his letter, which has been shared more than 100,000 times on Facebook.

"We should all be more like Alex," the President wrote.

"Imagine what the world would look like if we were. Imagine the suffering we could ease and the lives we could save."

Fifty countries have pledged to take in 360,000 refugees this year, doubling the number from last year, Obama announced on Tuesday.

Opening a summit on refugees at the United Nations, he praised Germany and Canada among other countries that have opened up their doors to those fleeing the war in Syria and other conflicts.