With no end in sight for the Syrian civil war, its dire refugee crisis, and the corresponding rise of Islamophobia throughout Western countries, it may be difficult to believe there can be much inherent good in humanity.
But a new video released by UNICEF is a heartwarming antithesis to the horrors of war and human suffering. Featuring 7-year-olds Nawwar, a Syrian refugee, and Alec, a German, the minute-long clip shows how friendship can transcend boundaries both physical and ideological.
Nawwar — who has been living in Berlin for three months — and Alec first met in school when Alec acted as his translator. "It's really interesting that he went really far," Alec said in the video, describing a journey that many Syrian refugees take in search of safety and survival. "He started in Syria, traveled to Turkey, then to Greece, then to Germany."
Alec has since been helping Nawwar learn German, and praised his best friend for the progress he's made in school:
He's one of the best readers in class. He's made a lot of friends so far and probably will make many more friends this school year. He's just really good in school.
The video clearly touched many viewers. At the time of writing, it has racked up more than 200,000 views and been shared more than 11,000 times.
The amount of positive feedback had an impact on a woman who claimed to be Alec's mom. She thanked people for their "lovely comments":
No matter how many times I watch this I start crying, the innocence and compassion of children just overwhelms me.
Although it no longer dominates international headlines, the Syrian refugee crisis still persists, its toll growing heavier each day. Today, there are 4.6 million Syrian refugees. 6.6 million are displaced within Syria, half of whom are children.
But amid the horrors of the Syrian civil war, there are some truly beautiful instances of humanity — as highlighted in this video.