More Like Alex

Published: November 30, 2016

By Jim Lichtman
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Last August, the world was shocked and outraged at the tragedy that has become Alepo, Syria. However, it was the image of a dust and blood-covered Syrian boy, Omran Daqneesh, that crystallized the true cost of war.


Although Omran’s older brother Ali died of his injuries, the rest of his immediate family survived an airstrike that turned their home and others to rubble.

Recently President Obama revealed a touching and compassionate letter from six-year-old Alex Myteberi who lives in Scarsdale, New York.

“Dear President Obama, remember the boy who was picked up by the ambulance in Syria?” the boy began, referring to 5-year-old Omran.


“Can you please go get him and bring him to our home? Park in the driveway or on the street and we’ll be waiting for you guys with flags flowers and balloons,” Alex said as he read his letter on a video.

“Catherine, my little sister, will be collecting butterflies and fireflies for him,” he continued. “Since he won’t bring toys and doesn’t have toys, Catherine will share her big, blue, stripy white bunny. And I will share my bike and I will teach him how to ride it.

“In my school, I have a friend from Syria, Omar. I will introduce him to Omar and we can all play together. We will give him a family, and he will be our brother,” Alex added.

“Those are the words of a six-year-old boy,” Obama said in a speech before the United Nations Summit on Refugees.

“He teaches us a lot,” Obama told a crowd of world leaders.

“The humanity that a young child can display,” Obama added, “who hasn’t learned to be cynical or suspicious, or fearful of other people because of where they’re from or how they look, or how they pray. We can all learn from Alex.”

On November 10, as reported in the Washington Post (Nov. 24), Obama met with Alex and his family at The White House.

“I liked your letter so much that I ended up reading it to everybody, and so everybody heard what you said,” Obama said in their Oval Office meeting. “You being so nice and kind hopefully makes other people think the same way. So I was very proud of you.”

In a letter Obama gave Alex, the president wrote, “If more people embrace the kind of compassion that came across in your letter, I know our world will be a better, more peaceful place.”


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