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Aug 16, 2019-Friday



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Friday, Aug 16, 2019

He gifted bike to former child refugee. 24 years later, Twitter helped her find him

Mevan Babakar, 29, lived in a refugee camp with her parents in the Netherlands in the 1990s, after fleeing Iraq during the first Gulf war.

it-s-viral Updated: Aug 15, 2019 11:16 IST
Trisha Sengupta
Trisha Sengupta
Hindustan Times, New Delhi
Mevan Babakar, 29, with Egbert.
Mevan Babakar, 29, with Egbert. (Twitter/Mevan)

All she wanted was to thank the man who gifted her a bike 24 years ago, but only problem was that she had to find the man before she could express her gratitude. So, she asked for Twitter’s help and, thankfully, people answered the call.

Mevan Babakar, 29, lived in a refugee camp with her parents in the Netherlands in the 1990s, after fleeing Iraq during the first Gulf war, reports Metro. It’s during her stay at the camp, an aid worker gifted her a bicycle.

Babakar, who is now staying in London, recently embarked on a journey to retrace her family’s steps, reports Metro. So, when she found herself in Zwolle, Netherlands – the refugee camp where she was staying as a kid – she wanted to track down the man who almost two decades earlier made her “five year old heart explode with joy.”

“Hi internet, this is a longshot BUT I was a refugee for 5 yrs in the 90s and this man, who worked at a refugee camp near Zwolle in the Netherlands, out of the kindness of his own heart bought me a bike,” Babakar tweeted along with the picture of the man and asked for people’s help. “I just want to know his name. Help?” she further added.

Twitter obliged, and it took a day for people to find the man. “WE FOUND HIM!!” Babakar excitedly wrote in another tweet. Further adding that it took 3000 RTs, 3 news articles, 1 video and thousands of wonderful messages from around the world” to find the man.

Later, in a series of tweets she informed that other refuges too reached out to her to tell that for many the man – Egbert – and his wife were not “friends but family.” Babakar also shared images with Egbert, after meeting him.

Besides a rush of support from around the world, people were also overwhelmed by this heartening story. Here’s how they reacted:

“Never in my wildest dreams did I think this story would resonate so strongly across the world. I’m completely honoured and humbled by the response,” Babakar told Metro. “How we treat each other is everything, big actions or small. At the end of the day, it’s the measure of us all,” she added.

What do you think of this reunion?

First Published: Aug 15, 2019 11:06 IST

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