Single Dad Has to Sell Pens on the Street in Hot Weather to Feed His Daughter

Single Dad Has to Sell Pens on the Street in Hot Weather to Feed His Daughter

When a single dad needed money to support himself and his children, he sold pens on the side of the road. Unbeknownst to him, a stranger photographed him and changed his life forever.

Abdul Halim Attar tried to sell pens as he carried his daughter along the streets of Beirut, Lebanon, in 2015. They were hot and tired as they struggled to buy food and survive.

The Palestinian-Syrian refugee had two kids to take care of, nine-year-old Abdelillah and four-year-old Reem. Attar worked at a chocolate factory before his country went to war, and they were forced to flee their homes.


The father had no idea that Icelandic web developer Gissur Simonarson had taken his picture. However, the post soon went viral and touched the hearts of many people around the globe.

The look of desperation on Attar’s face, paired with his daughter’s fatigue, was an image many could not shake. Simonarson shared that users had reached out to him with offers to help the father. However, they needed to track him down first.



Using the “BuyPens” hashtag, people rallied to help and find Attar. Simonarson said: “Thank you all for the outpouring of support. I am working hard on getting in touch with the man and will provide a way to help once found.”

Within hours they successfully located him and set up a campaign to assist the family. More than $100,000 was raised, and it left Attar speechless.


Attar was stunned by the global interest and help from online netizens. He said: “I was surprised to know that people abroad heard about my story and care about my kids. I couldn’t hold my tears and [kept] hugging my kids.”

Attar shared that his number one priority was getting his children to school. He explained:

“I hope I can take the kids and live in Europe. There they will have a much better chance for a good education. I really hope I can do that.”




Attar went from a desperate man selling pens on the side of the road to a man with dreams and plans for the future. He planned to use some of the money he received to help his fellow refugees.

He also had a backup plan if he could not arrange their move to Europe. Equipped with the generous donations, Attar revealed he would potentially open a chocolate shop in Lebanon to support his family financially.



Sadly many families around the world struggle to make ends meet and survive. Four siblings sold their old dirty teddy bears on the streets of South Africa. They were desperate for money to buy food and pay their rent.

Thankfully a charitable stranger saw the family last year and decided to help them. BI Phakathi listened to their story and then gave them more than enough money to cover all of their expenses. His actions made a world of difference in their lives.

Using whatever they had at their disposal, be it pens or toys, both this family and Attar tried their best. They were rewarded by the generosity of strangers, who are making the world a better place.

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