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Father of Alan Kurdi, 3-year-old boy who drowned at sea, shares his sorrow with the pope


This image of 3-year-old Alan Kurdi stunned the world in 2015.

The Syrian boy's lifeless body was found washed up on the coast of Turkey. His brother and mother also drowned as they made the desperate journey to Europe in search of a future.

The boy's father had the opportunity to meet Pope Francis in Erbil, after the pope's final Mass celebration in Iraq on Sunday. A look of compassion tinged with sadness crossed the pope's face as he listened attentively to the interpreter, who communicated Abdullah Kurdi's story of loss and pain to him.

Mr. Kurdi then gave the pope a painting of that same tragic image, with little Alan face down in the sand. A stark reminder of the suffering of thousands of refugees who continue to lose their lives at sea.

CT