Humans of New York and Edward Norton fundraise for refugee scientist’s new life in USA

A Syrian refugee known as ‘the Scientist’, who spurred a fundraiser which raised more than $US100,000 in an hour. Photo: Humans of New York/Facebook Actor Edward Norton started the fundraiser for the refugee, who plans to patent inventions when he moves to the United States. Photo: Vittorio Zunino Celotto/Getty Images
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The man with his children, who were inside their house when it was hit by a missile, killing their mother and sister. Photo: Humans of New York/Facebook

Canadian newspaper gives front-page welcome to Syrian refugees

Thousands of people have raised more than $US100,000 ($139,000) to help a Syrian refugee and his two children start a new life in the United States.

The refugee, who fled to Turkey after a missile hit his home and killed seven members of his family, gained the support of Hollywood actor Edward Norton, US President Barack Obama, and millions of Facebook users after his story was shared by Humans of New York, which has an audience of more than 16 million.

In a series of posts Brandon Stanton, the man behind Humans of New York, wrote that the man – known as “the scientist” – recalled how he worked hard to gain a PhD and was one of Syria’s high achievers, earning enough money to build four houses in a compound for his extended family.

Then, two missiles ripped into the houses, killing the man’s wife and one of his daughters, his brother, and four other family members.

He fled to Istanbul with his remaining son and daughter, but the trio were destitute, as their home had been looted after it was bombed. All were left traumatised by the experience.

“My son had to carry the pieces of his mother and sister out of the house. He was fourteen at the time. He was so smart. He was the top of his class. He’s not the same,” the man said on one of the HONY posts.

“Right after it happened, he’d write ‘mom’ in his notebook over and over. He’d cry all night long. Two years have passed but he’s still suffering very much. It’s very hard for him to focus. He gets tired very easily. My daughter was in the house too. She still has shrapnel in her neck. We survived but we’re dead psychologically. Everything ended for us that day.”

The man tried in vain to get work in Istanbul, but even at a local university – where one of his books was being taught – he had no luck.

He believes the stress contributed to him developing stomach cancer, which he hopes can be treated by an operation when he and his children settle as refugees in the US state of Michigan.

(3/7) “I built this compound for my family. I saved the money for it, I designed it myself, and I oversaw the…Posted by Humans of New York on  Tuesday, December 8, 2015

(4/7) “I was overseeing a project outside the city when the missile hit my house. Nobody was around to help, so my son…Posted by Humans of New York on  Tuesday, December 8, 2015

(5/7) “Everything that wasn’t destroyed in our house was stolen over the next two days. We left with nothing. I can’t…Posted by Humans of New York on  Tuesday, 8 December 2015

(6/7) “I had no problems before the bombing. I think the cancer came from my sadness and my stress. It’s in my…Posted by Humans of New York on  Tuesday, 8 December 2015

(7/7) “I still think I have a chance to make a difference in the world. I have several inventions that I’m hoping to…Posted by Humans of New York on  Tuesday, December 8, 2015

Yesterday I got an email from Edward Norton, asking if he could host a fundraiser for the scientist in Tuesday’s story. …Posted by Humans of New York on  Saturday, December 12, 2015The OptimistThis story Administrator ready to work first appeared on 老域名购买.

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