Twitter saves the life of an 8-month-old war refugee. One aspect I appreciate about social media is its ability to connect us. Perhaps not always, but when we seek social justice, everyone is willing to help.
Last Thursday, my sister Rachelle and her friend Lama urged me to help an 8-month-old Syrian refugee who, along with his father and grandfather, was neglected under the bridge.
“Running from war, A father and a son are sleeping under Charl’s Helo Bridge, please help and share”, this is what i tweeted on Thursday morning, or at least what i tried to tweet anyway.
To my shock instantly people started retweeting, and reposting the images, and asking public figures to share and help.
My sister and her friend provided food and blankets to this men. And they reached out to NGOs. Meanwhile my Twitter friends and I worked to bring attention to the issue. We were fortunate to have JarasScoopFm (Joe Maalouf), Rima Karaki, Diana Wehbe, and many other public figures join our campaign. MTV Lebanon even did a reportage on the situation.
Before the reportage aired, Chaker Khazaal, a reporter at HuffingtonPost, brought attention to the issue in a tweet, capturing the interest of many, including the UN Refugee Agency.
Staying under a bridge for 8 months. This is why #refugees are fleeing to Europe! #RefugeeCrisis (via @JadIsmael) pic.twitter.com/QkadQ2pj8L
— Chaker Khazaal (@ChakerKhazaal) September 10, 2015
After the reportage, more people and websites, including tayyar.org, lebanese-forces.com, and Salem Zahran, shed light on the issue. Although the reportage highlighted the problem, it didn’t provide a way for people to help the infant. People from the UAE, KSA, and Lebanon reached out on Twitter, offering money, blankets, and food, but the man still had no shelter. Najib (BlogBladi) further highlighted the issue, and Alfa Lebanon assisted by offering to rent an apartment for the man for six months.
Seems like Twitter was able to reunited Lebanese and Arabs, for a humanitarian case, and was able to reunite people regardless of their political beliefs, and nationality. We are closing to a happy ending an innocent 8 months old victim.
I want to thank everyone on Twitter who played a crucial role in this humanitarian cause. You were the voice of an innocent 8-month-old victim.
Now that this infant is being taken care of, we can finally sleep peacefully. However, there are many other infants, kids, women, and elderly people who have fallen victim to the Syrian War, and they all need your help. It takes one person to start making a change and to get everyone involved.