The internet can be a beautiful place when people channel their energy and skills towards a positive aim. Twitter, while often a place teeming with memes and roast jokes, has also proven itself to be a helpful space for finding long lost friends and solving mysteries.
One of the most wholesome examples of this went down on Tuesday when 29-year-old Mevan Babbakar asked the internet to help her find a man who worked at the refugee camp she lived in as a child.
Hi internet, this is a longshot BUT I was a refugee for 5 yrs in the 90s and this man, who worked at a refugee camp near Zwolle in the Netherlands, out of the kindness of his own heart bought me a bike. My five year old heart exploded with joy. I just want to know his name. Help? pic.twitter.com/XzUgHzllYb— Mevan | میڤان (@MeAndVan) August 12, 2019
Babbakar kicked off the thread by sharing that she was a refugee for five years in the 90s, and has one old photo of a man who bought her a bike and etched himself in her memory.
From there, kind and curious strangers retweeted the request and eventually she was able to track him down and shared the process with everyone who helped.
She also shared an adorable throwback photo from right before she received the bike.
Babbakar shared that scores of other refugees messaged her to share how this man's kindness also touched their lives.
She was also able to get in touch with a woman who worked at the camp who first taught her to use a computer.
AND someone else who worked at the camp got in touch, Sandra, she was incredible too, she helped me use a computer for the first time! I now work in tech!— Mevan | میڤان (@MeAndVan) August 13, 2019
More so than anything I remember these small kindnesses growing up, they helped shape me.https://t.co/RPdpNV2cMf
The excitement and suspense over reconnecting with him was palpable.
Later today, 24 years later, I get to meet him in person! 😍— Mevan | میڤان (@MeAndVan) August 13, 2019
Thank you to everyone who made that possible, to every single person who RT'd and to those who sent messages. Special thanks to @Janske1 @Arjen78 @ds_Zwolle.
I will update this thread with how it goes! WISH ME LUCK!
When she finally arrived at his home Babbakar took a photo with him, and shared that his name is Egbert.
Egbert has been working with refugees since the 90s, has a family of his own and likes gardening in his spare time.
This is Egbert. He's been helping refugees since the 90s. He was so happy to see me. He was proud that I'd become a strong and brave woman. He said that was his wish for me when I was small. He grows orchids. He has a beautiful family. He said it felt like I'd never left. pic.twitter.com/WlDWm2seVh— Mevan | میڤان (@MeAndVan) August 13, 2019
Egbert was happy to see her, and surprised at how much the gift of a bike impacted her.
In closing, Babbakar thanked everyone for their help one final time, and pointed out that anecdotes like this prove the internet can be a tool for good.