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 Post subject: URGENT: Charity for abuashraf?
PostPosted: Thu Oct 16, 2014 3:09 am 
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Hi OSDev. Returning for a one-off post, because this is important. Please take a minute to read.

I think some of you will remember me as a former regular on this board. But do you remember user abuashraf? He's been on-and-off this board since 2006 (and probably before on MegaTokyo), so you might remember him as well.

Well, here's the point: He's from Syria. Yes, Syria, the country that's been first torn by civil war, and now ransacked by the IS. He's from a particularly war torn area of Syria, and has fallen on some pretty hard times. (There's more to his story than he's writing here, but I won't elaborate to protect his privacy.)

He has the offer to do Master's studies in Germany, getting him out of there and giving him some perspective. For that, he needs to cut some red tape. There are several issues involved, but most importantly, German law requires him to prove he's got the necessary funds not to rely on social welfare once he's here -- without that, he cannot apply for a visa, and until he has that, there is nothing he can do except sitting tight and watch things deteriorate around him.

We -- that's myself, and Andreas, a former coworker of mine -- have been in contact with abuashraf for many weeks now, via e-mail and phone, trying to figure out a way to get him a student's visa, or basically any way to get him out of Syria. We've been talking to employers, friends and colleagues. The employers we've been talking to aren't too keen to spend money to finance someone's studies, of course, be it for a noble cause or not. And neither Andreas nor myself really have the savings in the bank for the necessary deposit, as much as we'd like to. (Again, not telling the whole story for the sake of brevity -- trust us, there has been some serious work going on in this.)

But time is running out for abuashraf, in more ways than one, and so we're ready to take desperate measures. (Not quite as desperate as abuashraf himself might be forced to take, if you get my drift...)

To make a long story short: abuashraf needs to show German officials a cash deposit of about 8000 (eight thousand) Euros to get a visa out of Syria. There will be more costs involved, but that's the big sum we're talking about at this point. We're also not talking about sending that amount to Syria, but rather providing it as security bond (or whatever the English term for that would be...) so German officials give the nod for him to enter the country.

There are people here trusting his sincerity, and willing to part with significant amounts of money to make at least the one person we know get out of the hell that he once called home. (We're not even talking about saving his family, cruel as it may sound...)

But it would be much easier if that load would be spread across more shoulders, which is why I am posting here, where abuashraf was known well before his current situation. (And because kickstarter.com doesn't accept charity.)

I am in the process of setting up an account, asking people to give what they are willing to give, to help out a fellow developer. Full disclosure will be given, of course. I am not giving account details at this point yet, because 1) I don't have them yet, and 2) I'd like to give the admins a chance to give a thumbs-up ("go ahead") or thumbs-down ("we don't want that kind of thing here") first. That's also why I am posting this in the auto-delete forum.

Please ponder this, and consider making (admins: allowing) a donation, large or small, named or anonymous, not to some opaque charity organisation, but to someone you "know" already, who is standing behind this with his name, to help someone in dire need.

Regards,

Martin "Solar" Baute
solar@rootdirectory.de
http://www.rootdirectory.de

----

Donations can be made to the following account:

IBAN: DE63 5007 0024 0373 6972 61
BIC: DEUTDEDBFRA


You can also donate via PayPal to solar@rootdirectory.de.

Regular updates on account balance, more information on the case, a definition of goals, stretch goals, and backup plans will all be posted to http://charity.rootdirectory.de as soon as possible. If you know someone who might be willing to donate, point him there.

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Last edited by Solar on Sun Oct 19, 2014 10:08 am, edited 3 times in total.

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 Post subject: Re: URGENT: Charity for abuashraf?
PostPosted: Thu Oct 16, 2014 3:31 am 
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I didn't know about abuashraf since now but I'd like to support him.
We've got a real chance to improve, maybe even save a life, I think.


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 Post subject: Re: URGENT: Charity for abuashraf?
PostPosted: Thu Oct 16, 2014 3:35 am 
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Hi,

Solar wrote:
I am in the process of setting up an account, asking people to give what they are willing to give, to help out a fellow developer. Full disclosure will be given, of course. I am not giving account details at this point yet, because 1) I don't have them yet, and 2) I'd like to give the admins a chance to give a thumbs-up ("go ahead") or thumbs-down ("we don't want that kind of thing here") first. That's also why I am posting this in the auto-delete forum.


I give my thumbs up (I doubt any other moderators will have a problem, and if they do they can take it up with me).


Cheers,

Brendan

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 Post subject: Re: URGENT: Charity for abuashraf?
PostPosted: Thu Oct 16, 2014 3:44 am 
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Thanks, Brendan. Will update the post as soon as I get the confirmation about the account setup.

(Perhaps move this out of auto-delete then? Much obliged.)

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 Post subject: Re: URGENT: Charity for abuashraf?
PostPosted: Thu Oct 16, 2014 8:44 am 
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Sorry to hear about your friends circumstances,

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 Post subject: Re: URGENT: Charity for abuashraf?
PostPosted: Thu Oct 16, 2014 9:48 am 
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8000 euro is a lot of money, at least to me. I think I only got a thousand Euro in the bank. Nonetheless, I'd be willing to donate, I don't know, 50-100 euro?

More importantly, is it realistic that the goal is met? Can we get all the way up there? There is a lot of ways this could go wrong and it's all for nothing unless we succeed.

(Oh, and as a moderator, I'm perfectly fine with this. I like how Solar vouches for him and communicates how he has invested effort, I will take a serious effort seriously.)


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 Post subject: Re: URGENT: Charity for abuashraf?
PostPosted: Thu Oct 16, 2014 10:46 am 
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sortie wrote:
8000 euro is a lot of money, at least to me.


It's a lot for anybody.

Quote:
Nonetheless, I'd be willing to donate, I don't know, 50-100 euro?


Anything helps, even if it's going to be just a token sum to keep us going.

Quote:
More importantly, is it realistic that the goal is met?


Well, the story is this... abuashraf contacted me initially, through a PM right here on OSDev. I talked to several people, including Andreas, who told me that his employer had done sponsorings before, so (and because my other channels ended up dry except for some good legal advice) I eventually passed the ball to him.

Yesterday we talked on the phone on something completely unrelated. I actually thought the contact had long since dried up, with abuashraf gone lost in the chaos of civil war. Andreas told me that, quite the contrary, the contact was up and alive, but they hadn't come up with a solution yet. He also informed me that he's just about prepared to pay the sum in whole himself.

Now, you have to understand that Andreas isn't rich, and the 8k Euro would hurt him as much as anybody. More, probably -- his current job is still on probation, and I know money is tight on his side just as it is on mine. But he's a very kind and generous person, so it's probably futile to talk him out of it.

So this is about supporting him just as much as abuashraf; I feel obliged to help him because I brought this subject to his attention in the first place. So...

Quote:
Can we get all the way up there? There is a lot of ways this could go wrong and it's all for nothing unless we succeed.


...while I cannot make any guarantees, I don't think you need to worry on that account. I'll ring some additional bells around here and see what I can do. First thing I'll set up an info website that you (and others) can point people to who might want to make a donation.

I'll come up with "stretch goals" (should we exceed the sum required) as well as a "fail plan". The fail plan will probably be some Syria-targeted charity that I will donate the money to should we fail; it's not as if there's a lack of need in that area, and funds would at least be used topically.

I've talked to the bank today, and the account is set up. I'm just waiting for it to show up in the online interface for verification, then I'll post the IBAN / BIC here as well as PayPal info (if I can figure that one out; I've only ever used it for paying so far, not receiving).

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 Post subject: Re: URGENT: Charity for abuashraf?
PostPosted: Thu Oct 16, 2014 12:20 pm 
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Hey solar,

I wrote you a mail. Take a look. I don't know our german law too good, but maybe we can find a solution.

Greets, max

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 Post subject: Re: URGENT: Charity for abuashraf?
PostPosted: Thu Oct 16, 2014 2:03 pm 
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Maybe Kickstarter won't accept charity but I think Indiegogo might. I'm sorry I didn't check before posting but I'm on an old, crap phone and it's really hard to navigate to anywhere.

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 Post subject: Re: URGENT: Charity for abuashraf?
PostPosted: Thu Oct 16, 2014 6:01 pm 
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I once got notice of a similar fundraising charity project on gofundme (similar because it helps someone to get to a different place, but for medical instead of political reasons):
http://www.gofundme.com/saving-ladymondegreen
Maybe this can serve as an alternate platform?

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 Post subject: Re: URGENT: Charity for abuashraf?
PostPosted: Thu Oct 16, 2014 9:28 pm 
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Hi,

I have sponsored education of 5 children so far. I will do my best to help!. I am a grad student struggling to make ends meet, I shall contribute as best as I can.

--Thomas


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 Post subject: Re: URGENT: Charity for abuashraf?
PostPosted: Thu Oct 16, 2014 11:41 pm 
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The account is up, see updated top post.

Thank you all, you're really helping with your feedback alone. ("Thanks" also from Andreas, who's also reading this.)

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 Post subject: Re: URGENT: Charity for abuashraf?
PostPosted: Fri Oct 17, 2014 1:54 am 
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Update, there is a (rather primitive) website set up at http://charity.rootdirectory.de. I will polish it, and post regular updates on account balance and proceedings there.

If you know someone who might be willing to donate, point him there.

(Yes, it's pitiful, and short on information. I'll give it more attention during the weekend, and might even forward to the charity websites you guys mentioned.)

Update: Then again, probably not. Those websites take anything between 5% and 9% (!!!!) off your donations as fee...

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 Post subject: Re: URGENT: Charity for abuashraf?
PostPosted: Fri Oct 17, 2014 4:59 am 
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Sorry for saying that I can't donate money. I am a middle school student and I have neither credit card nor paypal or bitcoin account. I am standing with »Redacted by staff due to personal risks« at this moment. I think 8000 euro is not much money.

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Last edited by sortie on Sun Oct 19, 2014 10:31 am, edited 1 time in total.
This post has been redacted by request; inquire with staff if you have any questions


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 Post subject: Re: URGENT: Charity for abuashraf?
PostPosted: Fri Oct 17, 2014 6:36 am 
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muazzam wrote:
I think 8000 euro is not much money.


It depends on the context.

8000 euros for buying a house is not much money.
8000 euros for buying a chocolate bar is a lot of money.


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