Former child refugee tries to trace 'bike gift' man

Image source, Mevan Babakar
Image caption,
The 29-year-old London tech manager has been retracing her refugee journey and is currently in Zwolle

A former child refugee trying to track down a camp worker who bought her a bike has been inundated with offers to help trace him.

Mevan Babakar, 29, lived in a refugee camp near Zwolle in the Netherlands during the 1990s.

She posted a photo on Twitter of the "generous man" who bought her a bike "out of the kindness of his own heart" asking for help to find him.

Within 30 minutes of posting more than 100 people had retweeted the message.

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites.View original tweet on Twitter

Hundreds more have since offered to help, with one person claiming to know who he is.

Ms Babakar and her parents who are Kurdish fled Iraq during the first Gulf war, travelling through Turkey, Azerbaijan, and Russia before spending a year at the camp near Zwolle between 1994 and 1995.

The family eventually settled in London.

Asked on Twitter what she would do if she found her benefactor, she replied: "Honestly I'd cry my eyes out.

"There was so much hardship at that point in our lives and this was such a generous act, it taught me kindness can exist everywhere, no matter how terrible it may seem."

Image source, Mevan Babakar
Image caption,
A photo of the five-year-old taken at the Zwolle refugee camp

The tech manager said her mother, who was also given a bike, believes the man was nicknamed "Ab" and he was an odd-job staffer.

He also invited the family to spend one Christmas with him at his home.

Ms Babakar has taken a sabbatical from work to retrace her refugee journey and is in Zwolle carrying out research.

But she said she has had more success with a single Twitter post.

"We have some leads, someone has said they might know him. I would love to meet him and thank him in person.

"It's quite important for me to find him. When I go through bleak times I always go back to that feeling I had when he was so generous to us.

"Acts of kindness can shape a person and I hope I can do the same for others."

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