Immigration

Former refugee finds man who gave her a bike more than 20 years ago

Five-year-old Mevan Babbakar at Zwolle refugee camp and the mystery man known only as "Ab". Source: Twitter

Thousands of people have come together from across the globe to unite a former refugee and the aid worker who bought her a bike.

A blurry film photo, a location and a touching Twitter post launched an international hunt to find a man who gifted a young refugee child a bike "out of the kindness of his own heart" more than twenty years ago.

Now, after more than 3,000 retweets and thousands of messages, London woman Mevan Babakar is set to meet the man who made her "five-year-old heart explode with joy" in person.

On Monday, the 29-year-old former refugee posted her quest to Twitter hoping someone would recognise the man who worked at a refugee camp in the Netherlands when she was a child living there in the 90s.

Ms Babakar, now 29-years-old, has successfully located a man who bought her a bike while she was living in a refugee camp as a child thanks to Twitter.
Ms Babakar, now 29-years-old, has successfully located a man who bought her a bike while she was living in a refugee camp as a child thanks to Twitter.
Twitter

"Hi internet, this is a long-shot 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," she wrote.

"My five-year-old heart exploded with joy. I just want to know his name. Help?"

In under 24 hours, the post garnered thousands of responses from around the world and on Tuesday evening, Ms Babakar shared the exciting news.

"Guys, I knew the internet was great but this is something else," she said.

"We found him!"

Ms Babakar, who was born in Baghdad, Iraq, to Kurdish parents, also said she was not the only refugee to be helped by the unidentified man, known only as "Ab".

"I've also had other refugees reach out to me and tell me that he and his wife helped them too! Their kindness has touched so many lives," she wrote.

"One woman said 'they weren't friends to me, they were family'."

According to BBC News, Ms Babakar and her parents fled Iraq during the first Gulf war, passing through refugee camps in Turkey, Azerbaijan, and Russia before spending a year at the one near Zwolle between 1994 and 1995.

The tech expert, who currently lives in the UK, has travelled back to Zwolle to research her family's past.

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