In what seems to be a happy ending, more than $17,000 has been raised in just three hours to support a Syrian refugee pictured selling pens in Beirut, Lebanon while carrying his sleeping daughter.
In the heartbreaking images, the man offers out a handful of biros, clutching a plastic bag of more pens while his little daughter sleeps wrapped over his shoulder.
The photos of the father and child went viral after they were posted two days ago on Twitter by activist Gissur Simonarson. He was then inundated with requests to help the man and so Gissur, based in Norway, announced he was going to try to find him.
He launched a Twitter account named #BuyPens and within 30 minutes, someone on Twitter contacted Gissur saying he saw the man every day around his house.
Incredibly, twenty-four hours later the man and his daughter were identified as single dad-of-two Abdul and his daughter Reem, four and a half.
Gissi launched a crowdfunding page to raise money to help Abdul start a new life for his family. Amazingly, in the first 30 minutes Gissur’s goal of $5,000 was raised.
“We have reached my goal of $5,000 in the first 30 min.This was never meant as a cap, just something to start with.Let’s make sure that Abdul and Reem can really start a great new life.All extra donations will of course go directly to them as well.”
The fundraising total has reached more than $17,000 in three hours and continues to go up.