Photograph of a Syrian Refugee Helped Raise $175,000

Thousands of people stepped forward to help the man from a recent viral photograph.

A campaign to support a Syrian refugee whose photograph has recently been posted online started on Indiegogo, a crowdfunding platform.

Gissur Simonarson, a Norway-based web developer, published several photographs of a Syrian refugee who was selling ballpens while holding his sleeping daughter on his Twitter.

PetaPixel reports that soon the photographs were on TV, in the newspapers and on the websites all over the world.

“I was overwhelmed with requests to help this man, so I decided to see if I could locate them” — Simonarson says. It turns out that the man in the picture was Abdul, a refugee from Syria, who could not find a full-time job since 2011 because of the civil war.

On August 27, Simonarson launched a crowdfunding campaign called Buy Pens on Indiegogo, looking to raise $5,000 to help Abdul and his family. The requested amount was raised in half an hour, and during the next few days more than 6 thousand people donated about $175,000.

(Cover photo credit Gissur Simonarson)


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