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Iranian Refugee Raises $1 Million to Give to Victims of Synagogue Attack


An Iranian refugee in the US is about to donate $1 million to the victims of the Tree of Life Synagogue shooting in Pittsburgh, Pa.

Shay Khatiri was staying with one of his Jewish friends when he heard the news that a white supremacist shot and killed 11 people during a worship service and also wounded several others. 

"She told me what happened and she was just broken," the 29-year-old graduate student told CNN. "Seeing how upset she was, I wanted to donate to the congregation."

The very next day, Khatiri started a GoFundMe campaign and asked people to join him in giving back to the victims of the mass shooting. 

"I thought to myself, I could donate $18 or $36 -- something like that. But that wouldn't make a huge impact," he said. "If I did something like this, maybe it could go viral and have a huge impact," he told CNN

Khatiri is making a huge impact. He has raised nearly $1 million in just four days.  More than 16,000 people have contributed to the campaign. 

"This fundraiser is meant to help the congregation with the physical damages to the building, as well as the survivors and the victims' families. Respond to this hateful act with your act of love today," he says on the online fundraising campaign's website. 

The funds are being sent directly to the synagogue and its members. 

"Everyone talks about how divided we are. But in such a tragic moment, Americans are always powerful and indivisible in trauma," he said."Every time something happens, I am reminded of how great this country is."

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