Meet Abdul Halim al-Attarm, he was a refugee from Syria who was pictured selling pens on the streets of Beirut. Thanks to the generosity of others and his own hard work he is now the proud owner of three businesses.
The 33 year old father of two was desperate for money when he first arrived from Syria, he was barely scraping a living and was struggling to support his children. But a photo of him and his sleeping daughter went viral and sparked a campaign to support Abdul and his family.
Gissur Simonarson a Norwegian web developer was so moved by his story that he started a just giving campaign and the money quickly came rolling in. By the time it had closed people across the globe had donated $191,000 to the desperate Syrian. After he received the money Abdul opened a bakery and has since opened a kebab shop and another local restaurant.
“Not only did my life change, but also the lives of my children and the lives of people in Syria whom I helped,” he said.
Al-Attar gave away about $25,000 to friends and relatives in Syria and he also employs eighteen members of staff who are all refugees from the war ravaged country. He’s come along way from the Palestinian refugee camp on the edge of Damascus where he was employed in a chocolate factory. That camp has since been obliterated from intense fighting between local militias.
Abdul now lives in a two bedroom apartment with his two beautiful daughters. “When God wants to grant you something, you’ll get it,” he said. We wish him all the best in his endeavors and hope that he continues to support his fellow refugees.