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Alex Assali in Berlinvia Facebook / Tabea Bü

Syrian refugee feeds the homeless to ‘give something back’

Because the world can actually be nice sometimes

Since the attacks on Paris earlier this month, the cruel campaigning against refugees has taken a sinister new turn. The front pages of our newspapers are encouraging division, hate crimes against British muslims have shot up by 300%, and Donald Trump has somehow become a valid presidential candidate. While it may be easy to get swept up in all the misery though, there are still some glimmers of hope out there. In a bid to bridge this growing divide, one Syrian refugee has decided to “give something back” – by handing out free hot meals to Germany’s homeless.

Alex Assali fled Damascus back in 2007 after posting criticism of the then-Syrian president, Bashar al-Assad. He has since started up a new life in Berlin – and has been so grateful for the opportunities given to him, that he has decided to “pay back” the capital's people. As a result, Assali sets up a stall outside Alexanderplatz station every Saturday, and gives away around 100 hot meals to people who are sleeping rough.

THATS ALEX! A big shoutout to him this morning, Dieser Mann beeindruckt mich zu tiefst! Seine Geschichte ist nicht...

Posted by Tabea Bü on Saturday, 21 November 2015

His story was picked up after a friend, Tabea Bü, posted his story on her Facebook – which has since been shared over 2000 times. “He really has lost everything; he had to leave his family back in Syria because people wanted to kill him,” she explains. “Even though he doesn't have a lot, he goes on the street and distributes food to the homeless.” 

“His motto is ‘give something back to the German people’ … God bless him, he is a blessing for so many more.”

There have been more than half a million European asylum applications by Syrians since 2011, with the number rising sharply since the Islamic State took power. Approximately 5000 of these refugees are living in the tents of the Calais jungle. If you'd like to help in some way, or make a donation, you still can.