GardenDrumAleppo’s Last Gardener

Aleppo's Last GardenerIn Aleppo, Syria, bombed almost daily by various armies, a man and his young son grew plants and flowers against impossible odds. But it couldn’t last.

From Channel 4 News


 

POSTSCRIPT

This is a photo of young Ibrahim and his siblings – photo supplied by Jayne Reed. Please read her comment below for more information.

Ibrahim and his siblings

 

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8 thoughts on “Aleppo’s Last Gardener

  1. To say I found this moving and heartbreaking seems inadequate. Brought to tears is the truth. Thank you for sharing. Seeing this father and son tenderly caring for their plants (and each other) highlights how much we all have in common and how nobody deserves to live or die like this.

    • Yes, I first watched this yesterday and still cannot think of it it without tears. My first impulse was that there must be some way we can help him but, of course, it’s both cruel and pointless to select just one worthy individual to help when so many are suffering. The only thing that can really make a difference is to stop this bloody war. Or show true compassion and open our countries to the many thousands who need to leave there.

  2. Ibrahim, his mother, and brothers and sisters have been found by Alaa (Mohammad Alaa Aljaleel) – our Aleppo ambulance driver friend!
    Here is the story of Alaa: http://syriadirect.org/news/a-crowd-sourced-animal-sanctuary-in-east-aleppo-teaches-compassion-%E2%80%98to-love-the-small-weak-cats-is-to-love-everything%E2%80%99
    I can send more pictures of the wonderful things he has done if you are interested. All the trees and shrubs for the cat sanctuary and the children’s playground next door to the sanctuary were purchased (via a donation from one of the members of our group) from Abu Ward at his garden center before he died.
    Here is the message we received today from Alessandra Albidin who was from Lebanon but now lives in Italy. She is the founder of our group Il gattaro D’Aleppo https://www.facebook.com/groups/1509943749305018
    Alessandra Abidin

    August 30 at 12:00pm

    “we found him !!
    He Is Ibrahim the famous baby in the video, the son of the last flower shop in Aleppo, he has all these brothers to maintain, and the girl with the green dress is severely disabled .. now I have the security that helps him arrive.
    Who want To help Ibrahim.
    In The First comment you find The video”
    Here is a picture of Ibrahim and his brothers and sisters (his mother is in mourning and choose not to be photographed).

    Alaa is happy to give to Ibrahim and his family whatever donations anyone wants to make to him and maybe one day reopen the garden center (which, after you join our group you can see in the video with Alaa and Ibrahim).
    So, if you still want to help this child and his family you will:
    1. Need to join our Facebook group – Il gattero D’aleppo – https://www.facebook.com/groups/1509943749305018
    2. To protect Alaa and keep away trolls it is a closed group so you will have to ask to join the group. Alessandra normally will admit you within 24 hours. If she is on one of her regular trips to Serbia or Turkey to deliver supplies to refugee camps it might take a little longer.
    3. Once you are a member please read the FAQ’s pinned at the top of the page (they are in several languages) which will explain much.
    4. There are various ways to donate, including PayPal. You will need to private message Alessandra on Facebook to receive the PayPal information.
    5. When you make a donation, particularly on PayPal, NEVER use the words Syria, Aleppo or anything similar because PayPal flags all those words as possibly being donations to terrorists. If you want to send money to Ibrahim just put his name or Garden Child or something similar in the comment area. You can also message Alessandra with special information on donations as did our member who donated the trees.
    6. If you use PayPal for your donation click on “Send Money to Friends/Family” and NOT paying for an item.
    7. If you have any questions just post to the group or send a private message to Alessandra.
    8. In the group there is absolutely no discussion of politics or religion, which to me is quite a relief.
    Donations to Alaa are completely transparent. Alessandra will list names along with donations. She will show a picture of the total donations being sent to Syria Charity. Alaa will acknowledge the donations and you will then see videos or pictures sent by Alaa showing him giving your donation to the person you designate.
    I joined the group (that’s what we call ourselves) in December of 2015 and I had serious doubts because I am not a trusting person. At first I made a very small donation of 5 Euros just to see what happened. When I saw how transparent it is I started making monthly donations. At that time there were around 900 members and now we have almost 4500 members from all around the world, including the UK, France, Spain, Italy, South Korea, China, U.S., Netherlands, South Africa, South America, Greece, Israel, and Russia. I’m certain I have left out many locations of our members.
    So this is a method you can use to help Ibrahim if you choose. His dream is to someday reopen the Garden Center but now their biggest need is food and clothing. Food and clothing can be purchased on the black market but the costs are very high.
    I know how difficult it is to trust that this is not some sort of scam but I promise you it is not and, as far as I know, it is the only way right now to get assistance through to Ibrahim and his family.
    Please message me if you have questions. Thank you for caring for this boy (he is considered a man now and the sole support of his family) and for wanting to help.

  3. I have just watched the video as a fellow gardener, however how easy it is for me to garden, I grumble about the seasons, and the hay mulch has weeds in it and so on, well my tears at the end of the video makes my garden life seem so wonderfully easy, my heart goes out to Ibrahim and his siblings. May God bless and care for them. My garden is a solace and it will be a place to remember that young family thank you for sharing with me.

  4. I saw this video last year and was very moved by it. I remember wanting to bring Ibrahim to live with my fiancé and I here in the UK until it was safe to return to Aleppo. I thought of him again this morning and decided to try and find out what had happened to him since his father died and came across this website.

    I have asked to join the Facebook group and hope to be able to help Ibrahim’s family a little financially, although things are tight for us at the moment as we have just taken over a 4.5 acre plot that is completely overgrown and need to reclaim it enough to make a living from it. Ibrahim and his father are an inspiration, tirelessly planting hope in the wake of destruction and the knowledge of their efforts makes our venture much easier.

    • Ibrahim, his 4 sisters, his baby brother, and his mother are still alive. Alaa helped in the final days before the fall of Aleppo with protection, food, and money. He met them in Idlib when they got off the refugee bus and found them temporary shelter and food. Now Ibrahim and the older sister are living with an Uncle outside of Idlib. His mother, three younger sisters, and baby brother are in a refugee camp near Idlib. The family had to be separated because Ibrahim and the older sister are over the age limit for the refugee camp which is just for women and children. Alaa regularly delivers donations of money, toys, etc. to both Ibrahim and the rest of his family. Members of our group make donations to them to keep them going. We are hoping to be able to make a large enough donation next month so the whole family can have new clothes and shoes for the end of Ramadan. Alaa is now some distance away from the family but he keeps in contact with them. If you join Il Gattaro d’Aleppo let me know and I will send you all the recent pictures and videos that Alaa has taken of Ibrahim (who has grown so) and his family. Thank you so much for caring. I am a bit in love with Ibrahim and think of him as I would a beloved grandchild.

    • Hi Rachel, I have told the group Admin that you have requested to join the group but she has told me that she has not seen your request. Please do join. You will be very welcome. Thanks.

    • Rachel you were accidentally declined membership in the Gattaro group. I have asked to Friend you on Facebook. I will re-submit you as a member. I am sorry this happened. The accept and decline buttons are very close together and sometimes when the Admin is rushed she hits the incorrect button. 🙁

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