Thursday, October 13, 2016

The toy smuggler

Rami Adham was saddened by the news of civil war in his homeland of Syria. He was understandably worried about the well-being of those not fortunate enough to now live as he did, in the safety of Helsinki, Finland.
So 44-year old Adham decided to act. Five years ago, he developed a plan to carry food and supplies across the border himself. His daughter Yasmeen, then 3 years old, wanted to help. She added some of her dolls to his bundle. His other children joined in the generosity, donating some of their toys and stuffed animals. 
So off Adham went, slipping across borders and walking for miles carrying plastic bags full of food and cash, plus a grocery bag of his children's Barbies and a suitcase of stuffed toys. Traveling 3,000 miles at his own expense and at the risk of his own safety, he arrived at a refugee camp in Syria.
The donated food and money didn't impress the kids. Oh, but the toys...

Adham told NBC News, "Their eyes were big, everybody was smiling. Kids there have lost their childhood, and not for a year: This is the sixth year now and it seems like everybody forgot them."
Adham has now made two dozen trips to Syria. With the help of the Finnish Syrian Association, donated toys from across Europe are now shared in over 400 orphanages in Syria. 

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