Tearful Dad Selling Pens With Daughter on the Streets. Then a Single Picture Changes His Whole Life

A father and daughter selling pens on the streets. A Single Picture Changes His Life

Thanks to a single photograph, the life of a single father who was spotted just three days ago selling pens in the streets of Beirut to feed his young daughter has been forever altered.

Attar, a Palestinian-Syrian refugee, lives in Lebanon with his nine-year-old son Abdelillah and his four-year-old daughter Reem.

Attar sells blue-capped pens on the streets of Beirut to support his children, and an Icelandic web developer named Gissur Simonarson took pictures of him while he was doing it on Tuesday.

The picture of al-Attar carrying his sleeping daughter on his shoulder and trying to sell pens to passing motorists in the scorching heat went viral this summer, touching people around the world.

His life was changed forever by that picture

The 33-year-old father of two opened a bakery two months ago and has since added a kebab shop and a small restaurant to his business veThe apartment is noisy and sparse, but 4-year-old Reem, who was draped over her father’s shoulder in the viral photo, proudly displays her new toys: plastic kitchenware, a swing and a stuffed bear that seems to be her favorite. Abdullelah, her 9-year-old brother, is back at school after three years.

Al-Attar is also getting used to his new status. Previously an anonymous street vendor, he now feels like a member of the community. Syriacs and Lebanese alike are nicer to him. 16 Syrian refugees work for him.

Apart from the food businesses, al-Attar moved his children from the one bedroom they all shared to a two-bedroom apartment in an unfinished building overlooking the highway in southern Beirut.

I raised an incredible $191,000 through my efforts.

Al-Attar has received only 40% of the remaining amount, or about $168,000, after bank fees and processing fees, due to difficulties transferring the funds to Lebanon. Because Pay.Pal does not operate in Lebanon, a friend of the fundraising campaign had to bring withdrawn funds from Dubai to Lebanon. However, the amount he has received has helped both him and other Syrian refugees.

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