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Syrian Teen Flees Country on Foot with Puppy in Tow

Syrian teenager Aslan Al Hakim was told he couldn’t take his dog with him to flee his home city of Damascus – but he refused to leave his husky puppy behind.

Hakim, 17, traveled more than 300 miles on foot to the Greek island of Lesbos with his puppy, Rose.

“They said, ‘You can’t take a dog.’ … I love my dog. I have food and I have water,” Hakim said.

Ariane Rummery of the United Nations High Commission for Refugees hopes Hakim’s story will help to humanize the Syrian crisis and present the bigger story of the war to a wider audience.

“If people can meet someone like Aslan … and realize refugees are just like you and me – ordinary people with ordinary passions and pets – then, hopefully, they will have more sympathy and welcome the refugees into their communities,” Rummery told ABC News.

Listen to the 17-year-old’s story in the video below.

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If you had to flee from your home, would you bring your pets with you? I certainly would do the same as Aslan Al Hakim – I couldn’t imagine leaving my dog behind, especially in a war-ridden area like Syria. I mean, really – do you even think a teacup chihuahua could handle a place like that? No way! (My dog, Jaq Jaq, and I are pictured below.)

Photo credit: TSM/Mollie Kendrick

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