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Crowdfunding Helps Man Selling Pens Street

The Incredible Thing 1 Man Did to Support His Daughter Is Going Viral

The statement "a picture is worth a thousand words" should actually be "a picture is worth tens of thousands of dollars" in this case. In the past few days, a photo of a man on the streets of Beirut, Lebanon, has caught the public's attention after going viral on Twitter. He's shown with his daughter sleeping in one arm and selling pens with the other. Activist Gissur Simonarson, who posted the image, tried finding the father after users urged Simonarson to help him out. And just within half an hour of creating a Twitter account named #BuyPens, someone who saw the man every day reached out.

Simonarson learned that his name was Abdul, a single father of two (a 9-year-old son and 4-year-old daughter named Reem) and a refugee of Yarmouk Camp in Syria.

To help the family out, Simonarson initiated a crowdfunding campaign on Indiegogo, raising $US5,000 within just 30 minutes, and then over $US15,000 in three hours. His first update reads, "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."

As of Sunday night, $US151,000 (!!) has already been raised with 14 days left to go. The most recent update on Indiegogo provides a little more backstory to Abdul's situation:

"He worked at a chocolate factory before the war. He left Syria to Egypt with his wife and children, shortly there after his wife wanted to go back to Syria, and they parted ways. He then decided to go to Lebanon and has been there selling pens and anything else he can to support his children."

To see such efforts sparked by a single Twitter image truly demonstrates the power of social media, and we hope to see it continue to be utilised for good.

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