Sometimes it takes a child's simple sincerity to put things in perspective. In this case, a 6-year-old boy who sent a heart-rending message to President Obama did just that.
The young American boy offered to take in Syrian refugee Omran Daqneesh, a 5-year-old boy who has become a reminder of the horror of the Syrian war after an image of his shell-shocked, blood-soaked body was shown on front pages around the world.
In the handwritten letter, Alex, from Scarsdale, New York, asked Obama to bring Daqneesh to his home.
“Park in the driveway or on the street and we will be waiting for you guys with flags, flowers and balloons. We will give him a family and he will be our brother,” Alex wrote, adding he’ll teach him English, share his bike and show him how to do addition and subtraction.
Obama read Alex’s letter aloud at the United Nations at the Leaders Summit on Refugees earlier this week. A video of Alex reading the letter was shared on Facebook by the White House and has since been viewed more than 7 million times.
“Those are the words of a 6-year-old boy. He teaches us a lot,” said Obama at the U.N.
“The humanity that a young child can display, 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, and who just understands the notion of treating somebody that is like him with compassion, with kindness -- we can all learn from Alex,” the president added.
Aliyah Frumin is a national political reporter for MSNBC.com. Before that, she covered national politics for the New York Daily News and was a municipal reporter in New Jersey for the Star-Ledger. Her work has appeared in several publications including the New York Times, the New York Post, Men's Health, Boston Magazine and United Press International.