This 6-year-old from New York just offered a Syrian boy a spot in his family.

Dazed, disoriented, and covered in dust, 5-year-old Omran Daqneesh became the face of the Syrian conflict in August 2016.

A photo emerged showing the young boy sitting stunned in the back of an ambulance, injured in an attack on his neighborhood of al-Qaterji. The sobering image grabbed the world's attention as we recoiled in horror, sadness, and, most of all, humanity.  

Just a month later, debate around refugees has returned to a political calculation. It seems as though humanity has all but forgotten the plight of Omran, his family, and countless others in their home country.


A new video released by the White House shows just how deeply Omran's story resonated — and that even when the rest of the world seemed to move on, his story wasn't lost forever.

The video features Alex, a 6-year-old boy from New York, who recently wrote a letter to President Obama — a letter we could all learn from.

See, Alex didn't forget Omran. Alex thinks about Omran, worries about Omran, and above all, wants to help Omran. His powerful letter to the president offers up his home, his toys, and his friendship to the young boy half a world away.

Image by the White House.

"Remember the boy who was picked up in the ambulance in Syria?" writes Alex.

GIF from The White House/YouTube.

"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. 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."

GIF from The White House/YouTube.

"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."

Impressed with the raw humanity and compassion of Alex's letter, President Obama read it aloud at the United Nations.

GIF from The White House/YouTube.

"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," added President Obama after reading Alex's letter.

Once we get beyond political grandstanding on things like human rights and refugees, it becomes so simple and clear what the right thing is to do.

There are an estimated 21.3 million refugees in the world; half of them are under age 18. Before coming to the U.S., refugees undergo a thorough vetting process that can last months. The odds of a U.S. citizen dying at the hands of a terrorist attack carried out by a refugee is 1 in 3.64 billion a year.

Those who make arguments against helping people like Omran have typically relied on scare tactics about refugees being unvetted and unsafe. They've cited dubious statistics of crime in other countries as a warning for our own safety.

GIF from Fox News/YouTube.

They are wrong, and they are starting to change their tune accordingly, appealing to our "quality of life" rather than our safety. As part of his latest stump speech, Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump is now making the argument that we should reject refugees for this reason. From a moral standpoint, from a human standpoint, and from an empathetic standpoint, that method of persuasion rings hollow.

Because of boys like Omran. Because of boys like Alex.

GIF from The White House/YouTube.

You can watch Alex read his heartwarming letter in the video below.

When he saw the image of the 5-year-old boy in Aleppo, Syria, 6-year-old Alex wrote a letter worth sharing with the whole world. (via President Obama)

Posted by Upworthy on Thursday, September 22, 2016
Courtesy of Tiffany Obi
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With the COVID-19 pandemic upending her community, Brooklyn-based singer Tiffany Obi turned to healing those who had lost loved ones the way she knew best — through music.

Obi quickly ran into one glaring issue as she began performing solo at memorials. Many of the venues where she performed didn't have the proper equipment for her to play a recorded song to accompany her singing. Often called on to perform the day before a service, Obi couldn't find any pianists to play with her on such short notice.

As she looked at the empty piano at a recent performance, Obi's had a revelation.

"Music just makes everything better," Obi said. "If there was an app to bring musicians together on short notice, we could bring so much joy to the people at those memorials."

Using the coding skills she gained at Pursuit — a rigorous, four-year intensive program that trains adults from underserved backgrounds and no prior experience in programming — Obi turned this market gap into the very first app she created.

She worked alongside four other Pursuit Fellows to build In Tune, an app that connects musicians in close proximity to foster opportunities for collaboration.

When she learned about and applied to Pursuit, Obi was eager to be a part of Pursuit's vision to empower their Fellows to build successful careers in tech. Pursuit's Fellows are representative of the community they want to build: 50% women, 70% Black or Latinx, 40% immigrant, 60% non-Bachelor's degree holders, and more than 50% are public assistance recipients.

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I remember being baffled so many people were so convinced of Clinton's evil schemes that they genuinely saw the documented serial liar and cheat that she was running against as the lesser of two evils. I mean, sure, if you believe that a career politician had spent years being paid off by powerful people and was trafficking children to suck their blood in her free time, just about anything looks like a better alternative.

But none of that was true.

It's been four years and Hillary Clinton has been found guilty of exactly none of the criminal activity she was being accused of. Trump spent every campaign rally leading chants of "Lock her up!" under the guise that she was going to go to jail after the election. He's been president for nearly four years now, and where is Clinton? Not in jail—she's comfy at home, occasionally trolling Trump on Twitter and doing podcasts.

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Photo by Tim Mossholder on Unsplash
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Glenda moved to Houston from Ohio just before the pandemic hit. She didn't know that COVID-19-related delays would make it difficult to get her Texas driver's license and apply for unemployment benefits. She quickly found herself in an impossible situation — stranded in a strange place without money for food, gas, or a job to provide what she needed.

Alone, hungry, and scared, Glenda dialed 2-1-1 for help. The person on the other end of the line directed her to the Houston-based nonprofit Bread of Life, founded by St. John's United Methodist pastors Rudy and Juanita Rasmus.

For nearly 30 years, Bread of Life has been at the forefront of HIV/AIDS prevention, eliminating food insecurity, providing permanent housing to formerly homeless individuals and disaster relief.

Glenda sat in her car for 20 minutes outside of the building, trying to muster up the courage to get out and ask for help. She'd never been in this situation before, and she was terrified.

When she finally got out, she encountered Eva Thibaudeau, who happened to be walking down the street at the exact same time. Thibaudeau is the CEO of Temenos CDC, a nonprofit multi-unit housing development also founded by the Rasmuses, with a mission to serve Midtown Houston's homeless population.

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via @Kingkeraun / Twitter

Keraun Harris, who goes by the name King Keraun, is a popular comedian on social media who's appeared as an actor on HBO's "Insecure" and ABC's "Black-ish."

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With the election quickly approaching, the importance of voting and sending in your ballot on time is essential. But there is another way you can vote everyday - by being intentional with each dollar you spend. Support companies and products that uphold your values and help create a more sustainable world. An easy move is swapping out everyday items that are often thrown away after one use or improperly disposed of.

Package Free Shop has created products to help fight climate change one cotton swab at a time! Founded by Lauren Singer, otherwise known as, "the girl with the jar" (she initially went viral for fitting 8 years of all of the waste she's created in one mason jar). Package Free is an ecosystem of brands on a mission to make the world less trashy.

Here are eight of our favorite everyday swaps:

1. Friendsheep Dryer Balls - Replace traditional dryer sheets with these dryer balls that are made without chemicals and conserve energy. Not only do these also reduce dry time by 20% but they're so cute and come in an assortment of patterns!

Package Free Shop

2. Last Swab - Replacement for single use plastic cotton swabs. Nearly 25.5 billion single use swabs are produced and discarded every year in the U.S., but not this one. It lasts up to 1,000 uses as it's able to be cleaned with soap and water. It also comes in a biodegradable, corn based case so you can use it on the go!

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