Syrian Refugee Boy’s Dreams Come True When He’s Gifted Free Gym Membership for Life


Social media is a powerful tool, and in the right hands it has the ability to help change the lives of the less fortunate for the better. One person to recently benefit from its positive power was 12-year-old Syrian refugee Muhammet Hüseyin. The young boy’s photo was shared on social media after he was captured gazing longingly through the window of a local gym. As the heartbreaking photo went viral, the owners of the gym in Turkey’s southeastern province of Adıyaman decided to find the boy so they could offer him a lifetime gym membership, free of charge.

They later found him working in the neighborhood as a shoeshiner, a job he had since arriving in Turkey after fleeing the war in Syria four years ago. “A boy, looking through the gym window, wearing slippers in the middle of winter and carrying his backpack…our aim was to find him and offer him a lifetime membership here,” said Engin Doğan, one of the owners of the gym. “And, we did it. He is one of our members now,” Doğan proudly revealed.

Delighted, Hüseyin told the local press, “I had always dreamed of losing weight and now I believe I can do that by working out.” His all-access pass allows him to use any of the equipment in the gym. Turkish photojournalist Mahir Alan captured Hüseyin using the weights, and working out on an exercise bike.

Syrian refugee Muhammet Hüseyin’s photo was shared on social media after he was captured gazing longingly through the window of a local gym.

His dreams came true when the owners of the gym gave him a free lifetime membership.

Olympic Sports Center, Adıyaman: Instagram
h/t: [Reddit, Hürriyet]

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Emma Taggart

Emma Taggart is a Contributing Writer at My Modern Met. Originally from Northern Ireland, she is an artist now based in Berlin. After graduating with a BA in Fashion and Textile Design in 2013, Emma decided to combine her love of art with her passion for writing. Emma has contributed to various art and culture publications, with an aim to promote and share the work of inspiring modern creatives. While she writes every day, she’s also devoted to her own creative outlet—Emma hand-draws illustrations and is currently learning 2D animation.

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