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The Father Of Alan Kurdi, Drowned Syrian Boy, Delivers Heartbreaking Christmas Message

Abdullah Kurdi appealed for empathy for those caught up in the refugee crisis.

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Abdullah Kurdi, the father of a Syrian boy who drowned while sailing to Greece from Turkey, delivered a heartbreaking Christmas message Friday.

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The images of 3-year-old Alan Kurdi lying lifeless on a Turkish beach shocked the world and personalised the horror of the refugee crisis.

AP Photo/DHA

The pictures appeared all over newspaper front pages.

U.K. newspapers choose to confront decision-makers and public with tragedy and outrage during breakfast

In the message, which was broadcast on Christmas Day at 3:35 p.m. (U.K. time) on U.K. news Channel 4, Kurdi called for empathy and understanding for those caught up in the refugee crisis.

Yasin Akgul / AFP / Getty Images

He said: "My message is I'd like the whole world to open its doors to Syrians. If a person shuts a door in someone's face, this is very difficult. When a door is opened they no longer feel humiliated."

Yasin Akgul / AFP / Getty Images
Alan and his brother Galip

Alan and his brother Galip

"At this time of year I would like to ask you all to think about the pain of fathers, mothers and children who are seeking peace and security," he said.

"We ask just for a little bit of sympathy from you."

The message was interspersed with footage of the refugee crisis and of dangerous Mediterranean crossings from Libya to Italy and from Turkey to Greece.

Alan White is a news editor for BuzzFeed News and is based in London.

Contact Alan White at

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