"He is a shy little boy, but when he saw the president, his eyes lit up and he was completely drawn to him," Valbona Myteberi tells the Journal News. Myteberi's 6-year-old son Alex went viral in September after writing a letter to President Obama offering to adopt Omran Daqneesh, the 5-year-old Syrian boy whose stunned, bloodied photo became a defining image of the war in Syria. "We will give him a family and he will be our brother," Alex wrote in his letter to the president. CBS News reports Obama read part of Alex's letter during his final speech to the UN in September, commending Alex for not being "cynical, or suspicious, or fearful of other people because of where they're from, or how they look, or how they pray."
Last week, Alex's family was treated to a tour of the White House before being surprised by a visit with Alex's famous pen pal. The White House tweeted a video of Obama and Alex meeting on Thursday. "You being so nice and kind hopefully makes other people think the same way," Obama told Alex. Obama told Alex he was proud of him and that he read his letter "to everybody." In his letter, Alex had offered to teach English to Omran and said he already had a friend from Syria at school so they "can all play together." "I could not hold the tears," Valbona Myteberi tells the Journal News. "We felt honored. We felt proud. We felt respected and just so profoundly grateful for [the president's] time."