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President Obama to Syrian refugee: "You are an inspiration"

President Barack Obama penned a heartfelt response to a man featured by the popular Humans of New York page, who fled violence in Syria and is headed to Troy, Mich.

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"As a husband and a father, I cannot even begin to imagine the loss you've endured," Obama wrote. "You and your family are an inspiration. I know that the great people of Michigan will embrace you with the compassion and support you deserve."

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The man's heartbreaking story was shared in a series of posts.

"My ultimate goal was to become a great scientist and make a lasting contribution to humanity," it begins. The man talks about how he graduated at the top of his class, earned a scholarship to pursue his PhD, married his sweetheart and designed a compound where his family could all live together. Then came the violence that tore his country and his family apart.

"My son had to carry the pieces of his mother and sister out of the house. He was 14 at the time. He was so smart. He was the top of his class. He's not the same. Right after it happened, he’d write ‘mom’ in his notebook over and over. He’d cry all night long. Two years have passed but he’s still suffering very much."

Here are the posts that share his story. Click on each one for the full narrative:

(1/7) “My parents were supportive of my education, but they didn’t direct me. My father was a farmer and my mother was...

Posted by Humans of New York on Tuesday, December 8, 2015

(2/7) “Our marriage wasn’t arranged. We married out of love. We met when we were students at university. She was...

Posted by Humans of New York on Tuesday, December 8, 2015

(3/7) “I built this compound for my family. I saved the money for it, I designed it myself, and I oversaw the...

Posted by Humans of New York on Tuesday, December 8, 2015

(4/7) “I was overseeing a project outside the city when the missile hit my house. Nobody was around to help, so my son...

Posted by Humans of New York on Tuesday, December 8, 2015

(5/7) “Everything that wasn’t destroyed in our house was stolen over the next two days. We left with nothing. I can’t...

Posted by Humans of New York on Tuesday, December 8, 2015

(6/7) “I had no problems before the bombing. I think the cancer came from my sadness and my stress. It’s in my...

Posted by Humans of New York on Tuesday, December 8, 2015

(7/7) “I still think I have a chance to make a difference in the world. I have several inventions that I’m hoping to...

Posted by Humans of New York on Tuesday, December 8, 2015

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About the Author

Jennifer Brett is a multiplatform journalist and digital coach. She writes The Buzz blog for accessAtlanta.com.

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