Refugee selling PENS on street to feed his daughter earns £11k after picture goes viral

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More than £11,000 has been raised in just three hours to support a Syrian refugee pictured selling pens in Beirut while carrying his sleeping daughter.

In the heartbreaking images, the man offers out a handful of biros, clutching a plastic bag of more pens while his little daughter sleeps wrapped over his shoulder.

Abdul-and-Reem (1) The photos of the father and child went viral after they were posted two days ago on Twitter by activist Gissur Simonarson.

He was then inundated with requests to help the man and so Gissur, based in Norway, announced he was going to try to find him.


He launched a Twitter account named #BuyPens and within 30 minutes, someone on Twitter contacted Gissur saying he saw the man every day around his house.

Incredibly, twenty-four hours later the man and his daughter were identified as single dad-of-two Abdul and his daughter Reem, four and a half.

An Indiegogo fundraising page for him created by the activist raised nearly £10,000 in just half an hour. Nineteen hours later, it had passed £33,000.

On Friday, a photograph taken by a member of the campaign showed Mr Attar smiling tenderly at his daughter as he handed her a brightly-coloured ice cream.

“I wanted to do something that could help this one man who is struggling through the world,” said Mr Simonarson. “I couldn’t believe what happened next.”

Organisers said the funds would be dispensed to the family through a local refugee charity, possibly in instalments. When Mr Attar was informed of the rising donation total, he told a member of the campaign: “I want to help other Syrians”.

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