WASHINGTON, D.C. (CBS) — Congressman Seth Moulton will be hosting an injured nine-year-old Syrian refugee during President Obama’s last State of the Union address on Tuesday night.
Ahmad Alkhalaf, who lost his arms in an airstrike at a Syrian refugee camp he was staying at, is seeking asylum in the United States. Two of his brothers and a sister were killed in the explosion.
In November 2015, he wrote a letter to the President and signed it by holding a pen in his mouth.
“There are many children like me. Even if they did not lose their arms, then they lost everything else,” Alkhalaf said in the letter.
The youngster and his father live in the Boston area while he receives medical care at Boston Children’s Hospital, according to a statement released on Monday.
His mother and four other siblings live in Turkey, according to the statement.
“No one should experience in a lifetime what Ahmad has experienced at just nine years old,” Moulton (D-Mass.) says in the statement. “His courage and commitment to creating a better world should be a lesson to us all. We have a moral responsibility to uphold our American principles and that means helping kids like Ahmad who are fleeing from violence.
“Ahmad’s story is an example of why we must not abandon our American values of hope and freedom.”
Alkhalaf also hopes to one day get prosthetic arms.
The boy’s father and Nadia Alawa, executive director at NuDay Syria, will accompany him and Moulton.
Obama will give the speech at 9 p.m. from the House Chamber at the US Capitol.