Recently, a cancer-stricken Syrian refugee and scientist Abu Ammar was featured on the Humans Of New York Facebook page, garnering a lot of attention from social media users.
The man, with stories of enthusiasm and hope of making the world a better place, soon touched the hearts of thousands on the Internet, and his harrowing life story even drew President Barack Obama's attention.
A few days later, American actor Edward Norton learned of the man and his plight and he went on to launch a fundraiser on Crowdrise.com to raise funds for the scientist and his four children.
The campaign managed to gather approximately $450,000 and on Dec. 17, the refugee, his son and three daughters arrived at the Detroit Metropolitan Wayne Country Airport. The family now looks forward to rebuilding a new life for themselves in suburban Oakland County.
At the airport, Ammar who was speaking at a nighttime news conference with the help of a translator, said : “If they will only call me a refugee ... I don't want to be here. I want to be a good citizen.”
The conference was arranged by Lutheran Social Services of Michigan, the state's largest refugee resettlement agency.
Ammar was giving an interview to NBC when learned he had moved Internet users to raise $450,000 for him and, humbled by it all, said there were others who deserved the money much more than him.
He has arrived in the U.S. at a time when taking in refugees is prompting severe backlash from political, leaders, lawmakers and presidential candidates in the wake of the Paris and San Bernardino attacks.
However, refugees like Ammar are trying to show they intend to cause no harm to America as he says: “But I still have a message — sometimes when I'm talking to myself I say, 'No, I'm not supposed to die. I need to live long enough to realize my message to humanity."'
Ammar told NBC he hadn't heard about the debate in the U.S. about Muslim immigration and about Donald Trump's plan to ban all Muslims.
“I don't like to get into politics because I am a man of science, and I can separate science and politics completely,” he said. “But as long as there are good people in the world, and everyone looks into his or her conscience, then we can stop this bloodshed.”
“No one benefits from people dying, and wars overall never benefit anybody — so let's hope God can help everyone and put out this fire,” he added.