The image left people across the world heartbroken—a Syrian boy sitting in an ambulance after an air strike. Covered in blood and dust, the boy became the face of the devastating toll of Syria’s civil war.
The photo of Omran Daqneesh brought the reality of the war and Syrian refugees into focus, and put “Aleppo” in the national consciousness.
The plight of Syrian refugees is a divisive one, with some lawmakers concerned that individuals could take advantage of their refugee status to enter another country and commit acts of terrorism. Indiana Gov. and Republican vice presidential candidate Mike Pence banned Syrian refugees from entering Indiana, although a court suspended the order. A three-judge federal panel heard arguments in the case last week.
But the political reality doesn’t dawn upon a 6-year-old New York boy named Alex. He wrote a letter to President Barack Obama asking him to bring Omran to his home, where he’d welcome him with flags, flowers and balloons.
“We will give him a family and he will be our brother,” the little boy wrote in the letter dated Aug. 21, 2016.
“In my school, I have a friend from Syria, Omar, and I will introduce him to Omar,” the letter said. “We can all play together. We can invite him to birthday parties and he will teach us another language. We can teach him English too, just like my friend Aoto from Japan.”
Alex wrote that he and his little sister would have toys for Omran to play with and offered to share his bike so he can teach Omran how to ride it.
The president shared Alex’s letter this week while attending the Leaders Summit on Refugees, a gathering where world leaders discussed the refugee crisis.
Here’s the transcript:
Dear President Obama,
Remember the boy who was picked up by the ambulance in Syria? Can you please go get him and bring him to [my home]? Park in the driveway or on the street and we will be waiting for you guys with flags, flowers, and balloons. We will give him a family and he will be our brother. Catherine, my little sister, will be collecting butterflies and fireflies for him. In my school, I have a friend from Syria, Omar, and I will introduce him to Omar. We can all play together. We can invite him to birthday parties and he will teach us another language. We can teach him English too, just like my friend Aoto from Japan.
Please tell him that his brother will be Alex who is a very kind boy, just like him. Since he won’t bring toys and doesn’t have toys Catherine will share her big blue stripy white bunny. And I will share my bike and I will teach him how to ride it. I will teach him additions and subtractions in math. And he [can] smell Catherine’s lip gloss penguin which is green. She doesn’t let anyone touch it.
Thank you very much! I can’t wait for you to come!