Tags: syrian | refugee | gym | membership

Syrian Refugee Gym Photo Gets Him a Free Lifetime Membership

(Twitter/@tribundergi)

By    |   Monday, 15 January 2018 03:35 PM

A Syrian refugee photographed looking longingly into a gym window in Turkey resulted in the owner offering him a free lifetime membership after the image went viral online.

The boy, identified as 12-year-old Mohammed Hussein, is seen wearing sandals in chilly January with a shoe-shining box slung over his shoulder by a strap. According to BuzzFeed, he lives with his family and they make a living selling scrap paper and metal they collect from trash bins.

Hussein told a Turkish newspaper that he was thinking about losing weight as he watched people exercise in the gym, The Washington Post reported. When the gym owner saw the photo, he reposted it to his own Instagram page and started to hunt down the boy so he could offer him a free membership. 

Mustafa Kucukkaya, owner of Olympiat Sports Center, said that he, too, had grown up poor and had to work in a bakery when he was a boy. The gym owner said he eventually found the boy after another gym member saw him outside and brought him in.

“The boy had no idea that the photo had gone viral,” Kucukkaya said in a phone interview with BuzzFeed. “He learnt all about it at the club.”

Hussein has already started working out at the gym, and Kucukkaya said he seems to be having fun and is a “lovable kid," the Post reported.

About 5 million Syrian refugees fled the country in 2016 because of war, the Post reported.

Others on Twitter shared their experiences with Syrian refugees and praised the gym owner for helping Hussein.

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A Syrian refugee photographed looking longingly into a gym window in Turkey resulted in the owner offering him a free lifetime membership after the image went viral online.
syrian, refugee, gym, membership
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2018-35-15
Monday, 15 January 2018 03:35 PM
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