Edward Norton was inspired by a story he saw on Humans of New York.
The actor, 46, is working to raise money for a Syrian scientist who was featured in the popular photography blog Humans of New York last week. After reading the devastating story of the unidentified man referred to as “The Scientist” who lost his wife and daughter in a bombing and is fighting stomach cancer, Norton said he was inspired to step in and help. (People)
Norton said he was "moved to tears" by the man's story and has started a fundraiser to help him and his family on CrowdRise, which had reached $130,000 this morning. (ABC)
Nearly $400,000 has been raised through the efforts of Norton and Humans of New York.
The Syrian was featured on the website Humans of New York earlier this month. The blog, created in 2010 by US photographer Brandon Stanton, began by featuring everyday New Yorkers and sharing small snippets of their life stories but has now expanded to include individuals from other countries. (The Guardian)
The Syrian is living in Istanbul but will soon move to Troy, Michigan. After the tragedy, he and the rest of his family fled to Turkey, where he can't work without a residence permit and he's forced to give away his designs to Turkish citizens. He's also suffering from stomach cancer that's spreading as he awaits his family's transfer to Troy, Mich. (La Times)
“We survived but we’re dead psychologically. Everything ended for us that day,” he told the blog, which captured him in a series of photos, one of which shows him sitting on a couch between a son and daughter.
"Let's reject the 'anti-human' voices that tell us to fear refugees and show this man and his family what Americans are really made of,"
Edward Norton said of Syrian refugee's tragic struggle highlighted by Humans of New York. (Telegraph)
Norton isn’t the only high-profile luminary to take notice of the Scientist. The story went viral on Facebook with thousands of likes and shares, and even garnered the attention of President Barack Obama, who sent a message welcoming the refugee to the United States.
Norton wrote in a statement: “This man has suffered profound loss that would crush the spirit of many people and yet he still passionately wants a chance to contribute positively to the world. If we don’t welcome people like this into our communities and empower his dream of making an impact with his life, then we’re not the country we tell ourselves we are.”
As of Sunday afternoon, the fundraiser earned more than $341,000 in donations.
“Everything we raise here will go to help this family so that the father can get the medical treatment he needs to live and pursue his work, and his family can build a new stable life after their tragedy, and…as the Scientist beautifully expresses…to support his dream of contributing to the world,” Norton added. (EW)
Sources: People, The Guardian, La Times, EW
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