UK
02/09/2015 12:50 BST | Updated 02/09/2015 12:59 BST

Syrian Refugee Selling Pens While Holding Daughter Says He Will Help Others With Money Raised

A Syrian man, whose image went viral thanks to a photo of him selling pens to try and raise money for his children, has said he will use the cash to help others.

Single father Abdul Halim Attar was photographed in Beirut, where he and two children had fled. He was selling pens while carrying his sleeping nine-year-old daughter.

buy pens

Abdul holding his daughter, Reem, while selling pens

This led to an Indiegogo fundraising campaign that raised more than £100,000, inspiring the hashtag #BuyPens, and he was tracked down to be given the money.

Attar told Al Jazeera: “I want to use the money to help Syrians. I don't want to be the only one being helped - there are thousands of children on the streets.

“There are people who are worse off than I am. Syria is my country, these are my people. In Syria, we used to welcome everyone and help them.

"I am lucky because at least I have a roof over my head and somewhere to sleep. There are many who are barely living. I hope this campaign grows to help all Syrians. I hope other Syrians get a campaign the way I got a campaign, and people can see the conditions they are in."

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He added: "I still can't believe this is happening to me. I didn't understand what was going on. One day I woke up to go to work; suddenly hundreds of people were coming up to me, trying to talk to me, and I didn't understand why."

Attar told Sky News Arabic he found out about the campaign when a man had approached him and told him "the whole world is talking about you".

He told the broadcaster: "I want to thank the Lebanese people who brought my pens. Had it not been for them, I would have been doomed a long time ago.”