A former child refugee from Iraq has managed to find the man who bought her a bike when she was five-years-old. On Monday, Mevan Babbakar appealed to Twitter for help in tracing down the man whose name she never knew, and who, "out of the kindness of his own heart", bought her a bike when she was living at a refugee camp in the 1990s.
The29-year-old, who now lives in London, posted his photograph to the microblogging website and asked for help in identifying him, saying that he worked at a refugee camp near Zwolle in the Netherlands.
"He ran this warehouse where asylum seekers and refugees would go to get supplies. He was just very kind," Ms Babbakar told Newsweek.
Her message was retweeted more than 7,000 times, which helped her find him.
Hi internet, this is a longshot BUT I was a refugee for 5 yrs in the 90s and this man, who worked at a refugee camp near Zwolle in the Netherlands, out of the kindness of his own heart bought me a bike. My five year old heart exploded with joy. I just want to know his name. Help? pic.twitter.com/XzUgHzllYb— Mevan | میڤان (@MeAndVan) August 12, 2019
"He said it felt like I'd never left," Ms Babakar, who met him in Germany, told BBC.
On Twitter, she shared a photograph with him and wrote: "This is Egbert. He's been helping refugees since the 90s. He was so happy to see me."
This is Egbert. He's been helping refugees since the 90s. 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. He grows orchids. He has a beautiful family. He said it felt like I'd never left. pic.twitter.com/WlDWm2seVh— Mevan | میڤان (@MeAndVan) August 13, 2019
She also added that Egbert thought the bike was "too small a gesture to make such a big fuss about".
Ms Babbakar and her parents, who are Kurdish, fled Iraq during the first Gulf War and stayed at the refugee camp for between 1994 and 1995. On the day were to leave the camp, the man came to visit them, bringing two bikes - "one for my mother and one for me."
"It was such a beautiful gesture," Ms Babbakar said to Newsweek
"Small actions can have big consequences. The kindness that Egbert and his family showed me will stay with me for a lifetime, and it continues to shape me as a person," she added on Twitter.
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