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Meet the 'Jewish Schindler' Who's Helping More Than 700 Middle Easterners Escape Violence and Chaos


"They want to kill us and cut off heads."

Refugee children looks from inside a refugee camp in Sofia on November 11, 2013. The founder of the Global Village Foundation, Canadian philanthropist Yank Barry, and US ambassador for Global Village and former boxing champion Evander Holyfield visited two refugee camps in Sofia today and took several Syrian refugee families from the camps into a hotel rented by the foundation for one year. AFP PHOTO / NIKOLAY DOYCHINOV NIKOLAY DOYCHINOV/AFP/Getty Images

A philanthropist who's helping hundreds of Middle Easterners stay safe, secure and stable after escaping deadly violence in their home countries recently discussed how he's meeting their basic needs.

Canadian born musician and businessman Yank Barry, who founded Global Village Champions Foundation, a charitable organization fighting hunger, along with his friend Muhammad Ali in 1995, has been dubbed "the Jewish Schindler," according to the Jerusalem Post.

And when you look at what he's doing, it's no wonder.

Barry is currently housing 782 Christians and Middle Eastern refugees in two hotels in Bulgaria, spending $3 million to offer medical care, educational opportunities and other essential services, the Post reported.

Robert F. Kennedy Jr., Yvette Barry and Yank Barry attend Muhammad Ali's Celebrity Fight Night XX held at the JW Marriott Desert Ridge Resort & Spa on April 12, 2014 in Phoenix, Arizona. (Michael Buckner/Getty Images for Celebrity Fight Night)

"He saved my life," Omid Salehi, an Iranian Christian said of Barry during a recent video interview with the outlet.

Others joined Salehi in sharing their stories, with Syrian Lheg Youseff Kassem, explaining that he fled after the rise of the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria, a terror group wreaking havoc in Syria and Iraq.

"They want to kill us and cut off heads," he told the Post.

Barry is reportedly hoping to save 1,200 Middle Easterners from ongoing chaos in the region, with the Post noting that this is the same number of Jews who were saved by Oskar Schindler during the Holocaust.

Watch a video below that shows some of the refugees he's helping:

With thousands of Middle Easterners flooding into Bulgaria, the nation isn't equipped to handle the influx of foreigners, which is why Barry is helping out, according to the Herald Tribune.

It seems his own family's history is a partial motivator for his good works, as he told a frustrated Syrian woman who was complaining last year about her situation that he understands her plight.

"I feel it. My family was killed in Nazi Germany. I'm Jewish," he said. "I know what this is like. That's why I'm here, to help. OK?"

Barry, who was also a member of the famed band The Kingsmen, has captured the attention of U.S. politicians who applaud his work to help people in need. In March 2014, Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee (D-Texas) nominated him for a Noble Peace Prize.

Refugee children looks from inside a refugee camp in Sofia on November 11, 2013. (NIKOLAY DOYCHINOV/AFP/Getty Images)

"Yank Barry has committed his life to helping others and bringing about peace through food security and helping people recover from crises and to support nutrition and development in impoverished countries," she said. "Yank Barry should be awarded the Nobel Peace Prize for all his work to eradicate hunger and for his humanitarian efforts throughout the world to bring about peace." 

A Herald Tribune report from December 2013 noted that the Global Village Champions Foundation has doled out 961 million meals around the world.

Read more abut Barry here.

(H/T: Jerusalem Post)

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