A slim man with a shirt hanging loose on his frame, holds his sleeping daughter over one shoulder, a black, plastic bag slung over his forearm. In his other hand, he fans out blue ballpoint pens that he's trying to sell on the streets of Beirut, Lebanon.
The picture of this Syrian refugee captured so much attention that when a campaign to raise funds for this family was started, its $5,000 goal was met within just 30 minutes.
Gissur Simonarson, an activist and the founder of Conflict News, took the photos of the father holding his sleeping child and posted them to Twitter Tuesday.
Syrian father selling pens in the streets of #Beirut with his sleeping daughter #Lebanon#Syriapic.twitter.com/KOz4mjW1rd— Gissur Simonarson CN (@GissiSim) August 25, 2015
Just remember, as heartbreaking as these photos are, this man is one of the "lucky" ones. Made it out alive #Syriahttps://t.co/GPPDuJl4S8— Gissur Simonarson CN (@GissiSim) August 25, 2015
Within hours Simonarson tweeted that he'd been receiving a lot of requests from people wanting to help this father. Not long afterward the man was located and the #buypens campaign was born.
I think that this campaign proves that humanity is not lost just yet =) #BuyPens— Gissur Simonarson CN (@GissiSim) August 27, 2015
The man was identified as a single father, Abdul Haleem al-Kader, of two children, 9-year-old Abdelillah and 4-year-old Reem.
According to the Indiegogo campaign Simonarson set up for Kader, which has raised more than $57,000 as of the time of this posting, he is a Palestinian Syrian refugee now in Beirut after he fled from the Yarmouk refugee camp, which Simonarson said was "probably one of the worst places to live in Syria right now."
Simonarson explained that Kader was located by Carol Malouf, who runs the organization Lebanese for Refugees, and said she is helping provide "a secure way to get this man the money we raise here."
On Friday, Malouf tweeted that she was going to visit Kader and his children. Once at their home, she said they lived in "dire conditions" and "need our help."
'I want to help other Syrians' Abdul said when I told him how much money we raised. I cried. #BuyPens@Buy_Penshttps://t.co/cwS0r0uyRf— Carol Malouf (@carolmalouf) August 28, 2015
Speaking with Buzzfeed, Kader said he and his family left Syria four years ago, moving to Egypt. When Kader refused to take his children back Syria at his wife's request, she left him.
"I had nothing to do in Syria anymore, since the chocolate factory that I used to work in before is closed," he told BuzzFeed News. "Some of my friends told me 'Why not go to Lebanon and try there.'"
Unable to find work in Lebanon, Kader said he had "no other options to feed my kids but selling stuff in the streets."
After seeing how much money was raised to help his family within 24 hours, Kader told Buzzfeed he cried and thanked God. He added that he hopes to take his children to Europe were they could have a better education. His "plan B" is to open a chocolate shop in Lebanon.
Buzzfeed reported that Simonarson said he was working with UNICEF for how best to transfer the funds.
(H/T: Huffington Post)
Front page image via thomas koch/Shutterstock.com.