President Barack Obama’s official Facebook page was swamped with calls for the United States to come to the rescue of the town.
Help of another kind, however, has come from an unlikely source – Turkish-born Hamdi Ulukaya, the founder of the American brand Chobani, best known for its Greek yogurt. He reportedly donated $2 million for refugees of Kobane.
Ulukaya, who has been in the news over his legal battle with his ex-wife over his yogurt brand as well as charges of misleading consumers, came to the U.S. in 1990 and established his company in upstate New York in 2007. His business soon grew beyond imagination.
He says that even though he is not concerned with the politics involved in the situation, he feels strongly for the people trapped in Kobane.
“We will deliver the aid to NGOs in the region. It is not clear who we will choose yet, but we’re talking to everybody active on the ground. We also want local NGOs to reach us through firstname.lastname@example.org. All applications will be evaluated throughout October,” he said.
He added that he was surprised at the lack of help from the world and feels that people should help Kobane like they have stood together for Somalia and other places around the world in crisis.
Ironically, $2 million is also the same amount that Ulukaya is accused of offering a potential witness in his case against his ex-wife.
Perhaps this donation is a way of assuaging his guilt for allegedly trying to harass and bribe a witness; or maybe he has just been misunderstood by the world and is in fact a caring man with nasty allegations against him.
Time will tell.
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