Meet Syria's Toy Smuggler
Aleppo native Rami Adham goes by another name these days: the Toy Smuggler. Since the civil war plunged his homeland into chaos in 2011, Adham has made over two dozen trips from Finland to Syria in order to deliver toys, food, and medical supplies to communities in need. In addition, he has funded several schools in safe zones along the Turkish border.
Originally, he set out for Syria intending to deliver food and supplies, but his then-three year old daughter Yasmeen had another idea. "She said, 'I have toys, I can give you some,'” Adham recalls. When he went to Syria, children were largely indifferent to the money and aid he brought, but they instantly loved the toys. Five years later, Adham's work has grown into a charity called the Finland Syria Community Association, which runs toy donations across Europe and sponsors orphaned children in Syria. Having poured his life savings into this cause, Adham now continues from contributions via GoFundMe.
His work continues to give hope to Syrian children, reminding them that they are not forgotten. As the Toy Smuggler, Adham demonstrates the potential of citizen diplomacy, as well as the impact of simple kindness.