This Syrian Refugee's Way of Giving Back to His New Home Will Warm Your Heart

December 4th 2015

Taylor Bell

As state leaders continue to fuel Islamophobia and anti-refugee sentiments in the U.S, one man is doing something that will put politicians’ fear to shame.

Every Saturday, Syrian refugee Alex Assali heads to the city square of Alexanderplatz in Berlin, Germany and serves food to the homeless as a way to pay back the country that took him in just a year ago.

Alex Assali feeding the homeless

Assali began serving food to Berlin's homeless after he was encouraged to do so by his pastor at his church in Germany. According to the CBC News, Assali spends roughly $35 of his own money to buy food each week despite not having a job yet. However, Assali does receive $506 a month from the German government as a refugee.

"Many people always come and I cook for 100 persons but more than that come to eat — sometimes even more come after I finish," Assali told the Independent. "Usually, they thank God and pray in the name of Jesus. They thank me and pray for me. Some of the words make me cry."

But getting to Germany wasn't so easy.

In 2007, Assali fled his hometown of Damascus after expressing criticism of Syria’s president Bashar Al-Assad online, the Huffington Post reports. After leaving Syria Assali fled to Libya where he helped up to 200 other Syrian families escape during the Arab Spring. However, he wasn't able to stay long. According to the Independent ISIS jihadists imprisoned him and forced him to flee to Europe. Once in Europe he finally settled in Germany and soon began feeding Berlin's homeless.

The photo of Assali feeding homeless was shared on Facebook by his friend Tabea Bu where she expressed her awe for Assali.

THATS ALEX! A big shoutout to him this morning, Dieser Mann beeindruckt mich zu tiefst! Seine Geschichte ist nicht...

Posted by Tabea Bü on Saturday, November 21, 2015

"He really has lost everything." Bu said on a Facebook post translated by the Telegraph. "He had to leave his family back in Syria because he people wanted to kill. Even though he doesn't have a lot. He goes on the street and distributes food to the homeless. His motto is 'Give something back' to the German people... God bless him, he is a blessing for so many more."

The post has since received more than 3,000 likes and over 2 million views on Imgur.

How the U.S. is Dealing With Refugees

Following the attacks in Paris on November 13, state leaders have been apprehensive about accepting refugees out of fear that they might be simultaneously opening the doors to terrorists. Already more than half of state governors have announced that they would close their borders to refugees in November, according to CNN.

To the dismay of President Barack Obama, the U.S. House of Representatives voted to suspend a bill that would have allowed 10,000 Syrian refugees in 2016 according to Reuters.