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US NewsBelated thank you: Former refugee tracks down man who gave her bike as a child

15:40  17 august  2019
15:40  17 august  2019 Source:   nbcnews.com

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LONDON — A former child refugee has tracked down and personally thanked a man who gave her a red bicycle over 20 years ago shortly after she and family arrived in the Netherlands from war-torn Iraq. After waiting for decades, the reunion itself happened very quickly. On Monday, Mevan Babakar

"I will never forget how joyous I felt," said Mevan Babakar about the gift she received as a child . Share Tweet Pin it +1. Your grown child resents how you parented them. Now what? EXCLUSIVE - 'Akshay Kumar gave a nod to 'Kesari's'

Watch: How a former child refugee found the man whose act of kindness shaped her 'for a lifetime'

LONDON — A former child refugee has tracked down and personally thanked a man who gave her a red bicycle over 20 years ago shortly after she and family arrived in the Netherlands from war-torn Iraq.

After waiting for decades, the reunion itself happened very quickly.

On Monday, Mevan Babakar, 29, posted a message on Twitter asking for help finding the man who she says worked in the warehouse of the reception center in Zwolle, Netherlands, where she and her mother lived in 1995 after they fled in Iraq at the end of the Gulf War.

Former child refugee, 29, is reunited with the kind aid worker who bought her a bike when she was living in a camp two decades ago - just a day after her plea to find him went viral

Former child refugee, 29, is reunited with the kind aid worker who bought her a bike when she was living in a camp two decades ago - just a day after her plea to find him went viral Mevan Babbakar, 29, who now lives in London, has found the kind man who gifted her with a bike more than two decades ago, while she coped with living in a Dutch camp during the nineties. Mevan Babbakar, 29, a tech worker who now lives in London, fled Iraq with her Kurdish parents during the Gulf war in the early nineties, spending a year at a camp in Zwolle, the Netherlands, in 1994.

A former child refugee from Iraq used Twitter to reunite with a kind stranger who had given her a bike when Babakar, who works for a British fact-checking charity, told CTVNews.ca in a phone interview that “It was really wonderful thing to be able to say thank you to somebody who means a lot to you

Mevan Babakar, a former child refugee , meets Egbert, who gave her a bicycle when she was a five-year-old living in Holland with her mother as a refugee . On Monday, she arrived in Zwolle determined to track down the anonymous benefactor, but quickly ran into a problem. Who was he? “I went to city

Belated thank you: Former refugee tracks down man who gave her bike as a child © Mevan Babakar Mevan Babakar met Egbert at his home across the border in Germany. Babakar told NBC News that the man befriended her and her mother Gulala while they lived at the center, which she called "a magical place" that represented stability after her family's journey, which had taken them through Turkey, Azerbaijan and Russia.

"My mum says the greatest thing he did was listen at a time when nobody really treated you like a human," she told NBC News earlier this week.

When mother and daughter moved away from the center, the man visited them and presented both with bicycles.

"I will never forget how joyous I felt," Babakar remembers. "It’s not about the bike, it’s about my self-worth...To be given a gift so large means somebody thinks in some way you deserve it."

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A former child refugee from Iraq used Twitter to reunite with a kind stranger who had given her a bike when Babakar, who works for a British fact-checking charity, told CTVNews.ca in a phone interview that “It was really wonderful thing to be able to say thank you to somebody who means a lot to you

During her research, Babakar decided to track down the man who had gifted her a bike while she was living in the Netherlands as a child refugee . Though she remembered feeling so much joy over the surprise, Babakar couldn't recall the "generous" man 's name. So she asked the internet for assistance.

Belated thank you: Former refugee tracks down man who gave her bike as a child © Mevan Babakar Image: Babakar and her mother eventually settled in London and were joined by her father. The family lost touch with the kind man from the reception center.

Two decades later, Babakar returned to Zwolle as part of a trip to retrace her journey as a child. Discouraged by a series of dead-ends in her research, she took a chance on posting one of her mother's old photos from 1995 to Twitter in hope of finding her long-lost benefactor.

Her viral tweet was quickly spotted by Arjen van der Zee, a local volunteer journalist in Zwolle, who identified the man in the photo as "Egbert," his former colleague at the reception center.

Van der Zee says he took Babakar to meet Egbert at his home in Germany on Tuesday — an hour's drive from Zwolle on the other side of the German border. He brought out old pictures he had kept of Babakar and her mother.

Preferring to only be identified only by his first name, the 72 year-old declined an interview with NBC, but passed along a message through Van der Zee: "This small gesture wasn’t all that much to make a fuss about, but I’m grateful that it brought us together again.”

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A former child refugee tracked down a man who , decades ago, gave her a special gift during an act of extreme generosity –- and then got to This is a beautiful story about people coming together, and both changing each other’s lives for the better. Egbert saw a child refugee in need and went above

Former child refugee tracks down aid worker who gave her a bikehttps://www.theguardian.com/world/2019/aug/13/ former - child - refugee - tracks - down -camp-worker- who - gave - her -a- bike ?CMP=Share_iOSApp_Other …

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Belated thank you: Former refugee tracks down man who gave her bike as a child
Belated thank you: Former refugee tracks down man who gave her bike as a child
Belated thank you: Former refugee tracks down man who gave her bike as a child
Belated thank you: Former refugee tracks down man who gave her bike as a child
Belated thank you: Former refugee tracks down man who gave her bike as a child
Belated thank you: Former refugee tracks down man who gave her bike as a child
Belated thank you: Former refugee tracks down man who gave her bike as a child
Belated thank you: Former refugee tracks down man who gave her bike as a child
Belated thank you: Former refugee tracks down man who gave her bike as a child
Belated thank you: Former refugee tracks down man who gave her bike as a child
Belated thank you: Former refugee tracks down man who gave her bike as a child
Belated thank you: Former refugee tracks down man who gave her bike as a child
Belated thank you: Former refugee tracks down man who gave her bike as a child
Belated thank you: Former refugee tracks down man who gave her bike as a child
Belated thank you: Former refugee tracks down man who gave her bike as a child
Belated thank you: Former refugee tracks down man who gave her bike as a child
Belated thank you: Former refugee tracks down man who gave her bike as a child
Belated thank you: Former refugee tracks down man who gave her bike as a child
Belated thank you: Former refugee tracks down man who gave her bike as a child
Belated thank you: Former refugee tracks down man who gave her bike as a child
Belated thank you: Former refugee tracks down man who gave her bike as a child
Belated thank you: Former refugee tracks down man who gave her bike as a child
Belated thank you: Former refugee tracks down man who gave her bike as a child
Belated thank you: Former refugee tracks down man who gave her bike as a child
Belated thank you: Former refugee tracks down man who gave her bike as a child
Belated thank you: Former refugee tracks down man who gave her bike as a child
Belated thank you: Former refugee tracks down man who gave her bike as a child
Belated thank you: Former refugee tracks down man who gave her bike as a child
Belated thank you: Former refugee tracks down man who gave her bike as a child
Belated thank you: Former refugee tracks down man who gave her bike as a child
Belated thank you: Former refugee tracks down man who gave her bike as a child
Belated thank you: Former refugee tracks down man who gave her bike as a child
Belated thank you: Former refugee tracks down man who gave her bike as a child
Belated thank you: Former refugee tracks down man who gave her bike as a child
Belated thank you: Former refugee tracks down man who gave her bike as a child

Babakar posted ecstatic updates about their reunion to Twitter, accompanied by several photos of her and Egbert smiling side by side.

"He was so happy to see me. He was proud that I'd become a strong and brave woman. He said that was his wish for me when I was small," she wrote. "He said it felt like I'd never left."

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