Campaign raises $130,000 for Syria refugee family

Picture of desperate man selling pens in Lebanon's streets with daughter inspired online fundraiser that has gone viral.

    A poignant picture of a desperate Palestinian refugee from Syria selling pens as his sleeping daughter hung over his shoulder in the streets of Beirut, which went viral on social media, has inspired an online donation campaign that crowdfunded more than $130,000 over just the last two days.

    The "Help Abdul and Reem start a new life" campaign was started on Thursday by Gissur Simonarson, an Icelandic journalist and activist, after he found Abdul Halim Attar's family in Lebanon's capital following a two-day search.

    Simonarson, the founder of the news website Conflict, also started a Twitter account for the family, who had fled conflict in the Yarmouk district of Damascus.

    The campaign's stated goal of raising $5,000 was surpassed by more than 26 times the amount after striking a chord with thousands of donators and social media users from across the world.

    The fundraiser's momentum does not appear to be losing ground as donations continue to pour in.

    Simonarson has tweeted that Attar "wants to help other Syrian refugees" with the donations, "as well as send his children to school".

    The father of two is just one of hundreds of thousands of refugees from Syria who are struggling to survive in Lebanon with little help from the Beirut government after fleeing conflict at home.

    Attar's picture that spread on social media

    SOURCE: Al Jazeera


    YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE

    'We were forced out by the government soldiers'

    'We were forced out by the government soldiers'

    We dialled more than 35,000 random phone numbers to paint an accurate picture of displacement across South Sudan.

    Interactive: Plundering Cambodia's forests

    Interactive: Plundering Cambodia's forests

    Meet the man on a mission to take down Cambodia's timber tycoons and expose a rampant illegal cross-border trade.

    Pakistan's tribal areas: 'Neither faith nor union found'

    Pakistan's tribal areas: 'Neither faith nor union found'

    Residents of long-neglected northwestern tribal belt say incorporation into Pakistan has left them in a vacuum.