A 6-year-old New York boy has shone a compassionate light on the crisis in Syria by penning a heartfelt letter to President Obama, in which he offered a home and a family to Omran Dagneesh, a little boy shown sitting in an ambulance last month after a bombing in Aleppo that destroyed his home and killed his brother.
Obama was so moved by Alex Myteberi’s thoughtfulness that he shared the boy’s letter on his official Facebook page, as well as on that of the White House, and read excerpts from it during his final United Nations speech Tuesday in Manhattan.
“He teaches us a lot,” Obama said of Alex, who lives near Scarsdale, New York. “The humanity that a young child can display who hasn’t learned to be cynical, or suspicious, or fearful of other people because of where they’re from, or how they look, or how they pray, and who just understands the notion of treating somebody that is like him with compassion, with kindness – we can all learn from Alex.”
Obama is not the only person to express pride in Alex. The boy’s mother, Valbona Myteberi, gave a statement Friday to the Journal News, the newspaper based out of the Lower Hudson Valley.
“We are proud of our Alex and honored by the president’s inspiring words and actions in mobilizing the world for a more meaningful response to the refugee crisis,” Myteberi said. “Each one of us has a responsibility to help children around the world live a better life. Our son’s heart is filled with joy hearing that our president is doing everything possible to help Omran and other children in war-torn countries.”
The images of 5-year-old Omran, who sat bleeding and in shock in the back of an ambulance, were transmitted across the globe after the bombing. He wiped soot and blood from his face as emergency workers continued to extract family members and neighbors from the rubble.
Omran survived his injuries, but his 10-year-old brother, Ali Daqneesh, died of his own wounds three days later, USA Today reported.
In his letter, Alex asked the president to bring Omran to his home.
“Park in the driveway or on the street and we will be waiting for you guys with flags, flowers and balloons,” he wrote. “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 (sic) 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!”
He signed the letter, “Alex. Six years old.”
“We should all be more like Alex,” Obama wrote on Facebook. “Imagine what the world would look like if we were. Imagine the suffering we could ease and the lives we could save.”
Thank you for reading the Springfield News-Sun and for supporting local journalism. Subscribers: log in for access to your daily ePaper and premium newsletters.
Thank you for supporting in-depth local journalism with your subscription to the Springfield News-Sun. Get more news when you want it with email newsletters just for subscribers. Sign up here.