Muslim Father of Drowned Refugee Boy Asks for Sympathy in Christmas Message: ‘I’d Like the Whole World to Open Its Doors to Syrians’

syrian drowend boy

This article first appeared in the Huffington Post:

The refugee crisis in Europe and the ongoing devastation in Syria gained worldwide attention in September when photos emerged showing a drowned Syrian boy, Alan Kurdi, lying facedown on the shores of Bodrum, Turkey. Alan’s father is now asking the world to do what it can to help his fellow refugees.

“I’d like the whole world to open its doors to Syrians,” Abdullah Kurdi told the U.K.’s Channel 4 News in a statement broadcasted on Christmas.

Kurdi was a barber in Kobani, Syria, before he and his family fled to Turkey to escape “barrel bombs, explosions and also Daesh” — another name for the militant group that calls itself the Islamic State.

“We boarded the boat to go to Greece aiming to go to Germany or Sweden,” Kurdi told Channel 4. “We were in the sea for four or five minutes when the boat capsized and what happened, happened.”

Kurdi lost his wife and two sons that day. He later told HuffPost Arabi that he’d been unable to afford flotation devices for his family.

You can read the rest of the story here.