Edward Norton raises funds for Syrian scientist profiled on 'Humans of New York' On Tuesday, the Facebook account Humans of New York featured the story of a Syrian refugee who was about to relocate to Troy, Michigan. The man's tragic story attracted the attention of President Barack Obama, and now even Hollywood has come calling, with actor Edward Norton helping raise funds to ease his family's transition.
The unnamed man, nicknamed "the scientist," told HONY how he lost his wife, daughter and other family members in a missile attack in Syria. Suffering from cancer, he lamented being stuck in limbo as a refugee in Turkey, unable to properly work and support his two remaining children.
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"I still think I have a chance to make a difference in the world. I have several inventions that Iâm hoping to patent once I get to America," he said. "I just want to get back to work. I want to be a person again. I donât want the world to think I'm over. I'm still here."
On Saturday, Humans of New York photographer Brandon Stanton announced Norton had approached him to see how he could help. "I said: 'Of course Edward Norton. Also, you were awesome in Birdman. Also, letâs hang out,'" he posted on Facebook.
Image: Humans of New YorkOn the CrowdRise fundraising page, Norton wrote that the scientist's story had "moved me to tears."
"Everything we raise here will go directly to this family to help the father get the medical treatment he needs to live and pursue his work, to help his family build a new stable life after their tragedy," he said. "Andâ¦as the Scientist beautifully expressesâ¦to support his dream of contributing to the world."
So far, more than US$278,500 has been raised.
Norton also pushed back on the anti-refugee rhetoric stirred up by politicians, including presidential-hopeful Donald Trump, in recent days. "If we donât welcome people like this into our communities and empower his dream of making an impact with his life, then weâre not the country we tell ourselves we are," Norton said.
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