The day after U.S. Barack Obama spoke to a United Nations summit on refugees last week, the White House released this video featuring the six-year-old boy Obama quoted at the end of his speech.
The young boy, Alex, from Scarsdale, NY, wrote Obama the letter after seeing images of five-year-old Syrian boy, Omran Daqneesh wiping blood off his face and hands in the back of an ambulance. Omar had just been rescued with his parents and three siblings from a collapsing building following a bombing raid on the besieged town Aleppo August 17, 2016. His 10-year-old brother, Ali, died on of his injuries three days later. Eight people died in the air strike, including five children.
There is global outrage over the crisis in Syria after a video of a shocked and bloodied five-year-old boy caught in the crossfire goes viral. The UN special envoy makes a direct plea to Russia and U.S. to do more.
While the letter itself seems sincere, the video released was admittedly produced by the White House to coincide with Obama’s UN address and campaign to increase support for war refugees – both in the U.S. and abroad.
In the letter, young Alex states:
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…
…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.
Obama’s speech at the U.N., sets Alex as an example, stating “The humanity that a young child can display, who hasn’t learned to by cynical, or suspicious, 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.”