Syrian Refugee Whose Story Went Viral Moves to US

'The Scientist' is hoping to restart his life in Troy, Michigan
By Michael Harthorne,  Newser Staff
Posted Dec 17, 2015 2:50 PM CST
A Syrian refugee known as The Scientist, as profiled by Humans of New York. The Scientist moved from Turkey to Michigan on Thursday to start a new life after the death of his wife and daughter.   (Facebook)

(Newser) – A Syrian refugee whose moving story went viral earlier this month starts his new life in Troy, Michigan, on Thursday, NBC News reports. The refugee—who wants to keep his real name out of the media to protect family members still in Syria—is known as "The Scientist" on the blog Humans of New York, where he was first profiled. "I learned today that I’m going to Troy, Michigan," The Scientist told HONY. "I know nothing about it. I just hope that it’s safe and that it’s a place where they respect science." According to MLive, The Scientist left Syria in 2013 after a bomb killed his wife and one of his daughters. Since then, he's been diagnosed with stomach cancer and was barely scraping by in Turkey. Despite being "in overwhelming sadness," he and his surviving children are hoping for a new start in the US, he tells NBC.

Thanks to his story—which even got the attention of President Obama—The Scientist will have some help to get that new start. NBC reports actor Edward Norton was moved to tears after reading The Scientist's story and started a crowdfunding page that has raised nearly $450,000. "I didn't hear about it, but I want to thank him very much from the humanity perspective," The Scientist says. "There are people outside who need that money much more than me." A Michigan college student was also inspired to help after hearing The Scientist would be moving to his hometown, according to USA Today. His fundraising page has raised more than $16,000. "I’d say out of all the cities in Michigan, Troy is the best place to raise a family, be a scientist, and we can’t wait to have him," Daniel Kang says.

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