He's a Syrian immigrant. He sells bananas. And you'll love him.

The kids call him Banana Man.

Image by Upworthy/YouTube.


Everyone else? They call him Abdulhamed Kharma. He works as a fruit vendor in New York City.


Image by Upworthy/YouTube.

He doesn't just sell bananas. He sells melons, apples, oranges, strawberries ... pretty much all your standard fruits.


Image by Upworthy/YouTube.

He has many loyal customers. One even brought him a scarf and a pair of gloves to keep his hands warm in the winter.

Image by Upworthy/YouTube.

And he's got big dreams.

GIF by Upworthy/YouTube.

He's an integral part of the community where he lives and works.

Tribeca, NYC. Photo by Aude/Wikimedia Commons.

People need fruit, he sells them fruit. Without him, Tribeca, the neighborhood where he sets up shop, would undoubtedly be an avocado-less wasteland.

Like millions of his fellow New Yorkers, he's an immigrant.

Photo by John Moore/Getty Images.

When Kharma was 14, his family left their native Syria — traveling first to Turkey, then to Egypt, and finally to the U.S.

Image by Upworthy/YouTube.

Like many immigrants, Kharma is grateful to the United States for giving him the chance to pursue his goals, which he believes would have been impossible back in Syria.

Despite all evidence to the contrary, Donald Trump and others are intent on portraying people like Kharma and his fellow Syrian immigrants, well ... like this stock photo:

Man, there are stock photos of literally everything. Photo via iStock.

When in fact, this is usually a much more accurate depiction:

Syrian refugees in Greece. Photo by Daniel Mihailescu/Getty Images.

Kharma's family was lucky to make their way to the United States long before Syria's current devastating Civil War. Since the conflict began, over 4 million people have fled the country. Most have landed in Turkey and elsewhere in the Middle East, and many others have made the dangerous crossing into Europe.

The United States has only committed to admitting 10,000. And even so, an intense debate rages over their status, with over half of all governors vowing to prevent refugees from settling in their states.

Kharma says that since 2011, when he tells customers that he's from Syria, some turn away. Others don't know what to say.

Image by Upworthy/YouTube.

But his example demonstrates that, by and large, immigrants and refugees want basically the same things the rest of us want.

Actor and UN Goodwill Ambassador Ashley Judd visits a refugee camp in Jordan. Photo by Khalil Mazraawi/Getty Images.

Like most of us, they want safe homes for their families.

Like most of us, they want education for their children.

Like most of us, they just want to sell bananas.

(Well, like some of us, at any rate).

Despite the prejudice he sometimes encounters, what keeps Kharma going is his belief in the concept reflected by his last name.

It's all about karma, he says.

GIF by Upworthy/YouTube.

Put yourself in Kharma's shoes. You'll probably find they're not that different from yours.

Watch Upworthy's conversation with Kharma below.

When "bobcat" trended on Twitter this week, no one anticipated the unreal series of events they were about to witness. The bizarre bobcat encounter was captured on a security cam video and...well...you just have to see it. (Read the following description if you want to be prepared, or skip down to the video if you want to be surprised. I promise, it's a wild ride either way.)

In a North Carolina neighborhood that looks like a present-day Pleasantville, a man carries a cup of coffee and a plate of brownies out to his car. "Good mornin!" he calls cheerfully to a neighbor jogging by. As he sets his coffee cup on the hood of the car, he says, "I need to wash my car." Well, shucks. His wife enters the camera frame on the other side of the car.

So far, it's just about the most classic modern Americana scene imaginable. And then...

A horrifying "rrrrawwwww!" Blood-curdling screaming. Running. Panic. The man abandons the brownies, races to his wife's side of the car, then emerges with an animal in his hands. He holds the creature up like Rafiki holding up Simba, then yells in its face, "Oh my god! It's a bobcat! Oh my god!"

Then he hucks the bobcat across the yard with all his might.

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Images courtesy of John Scully, Walden University, Ingrid Scully
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Since March of 2020, over 29 million Americans have been diagnosed with COVID-19, according to the CDC. Over 540,000 have died in the United States as this unprecedented pandemic has swept the globe. And yet, by the end of 2020, it looked like science was winning: vaccines had been developed.

In celebration of the power of science we spoke to three people: an individual, a medical provider, and a vaccine scientist about how vaccines have impacted them throughout their lives. Here are their answers:

John Scully, 79, resident of Florida

Photo courtesy of John Scully

When John Scully was born, America was in the midst of an epidemic: tens of thousands of children in the United States were falling ill with paralytic poliomyelitis — otherwise known as polio, a disease that attacks the central nervous system and often leaves its victims partially or fully paralyzed.

"As kids, we were all afraid of getting polio," he says, "because if you got polio, you could end up in the dreaded iron lung and we were all terrified of those." Iron lungs were respirators that enclosed most of a person's body; people with severe cases often would end up in these respirators as they fought for their lives.

John remembers going to see matinee showings of cowboy movies on Saturdays and, before the movie, shorts would run. "Usually they showed the news," he says, "but I just remember seeing this one clip warning us about polio and it just showed all these kids in iron lungs." If kids survived the iron lung, they'd often come back to school on crutches, in leg braces, or in wheelchairs.

"We all tried to be really careful in the summer — or, as we called it back then, 'polio season,''" John says. This was because every year around Memorial Day, major outbreaks would begin to emerge and they'd spike sometime around August. People weren't really sure how the disease spread at the time, but many believed it traveled through the water. There was no cure — and every child was susceptible to getting sick with it.

"We couldn't swim in hot weather," he remembers, "and the municipal outdoor pool would close down in August."

Then, in 1954 clinical trials began for Dr. Jonas Salk's vaccine against polio and within a year, his vaccine was announced safe. "I got that vaccine at school," John says. Within two years, U.S. polio cases had dropped 85-95 percent — even before a second vaccine was developed by Dr. Albert Sabin in the 1960s. "I remember how much better things got after the vaccines came out. They changed everything," John says.

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