THE father of a little boy who drowned while fleeing Syria has pleaded with the world to “open its doors” to refugees.
Three-year-old Alan Kurdi died along with his mother Rehanna and five-year-old brother Ghalib in September.
They paid cruel people smugglers thousands to reach Greece by boat after fleeing their war-ravaged homeland.
But pictures of his lifeless body washed up on a Turkish beach forced politicians to tackle the refugee crisis.
His father Abdullah Kurdi said: “My message is I’d like the whole world to open its doors to Syrians.
“If a person shuts a door in someone’s face, this is very difficult. When a door is opened they no longer feel humiliated.”
He added: “At this time of year I would like to ask you all to think about the pain of fathers, mothers and children who are seeking peace and security.
“We ask just for a little bit of sympathy from you.”
More than four million people have fled Syria since the start of the civil war in 2011 – and more than 250,000 have been killed.
This year alone 500,000 Syrian refugees attempted to reach Europe and North America.
After Aylan’s death David Cameron agreed to let 20,000 Syrian refugees into Britain over the next five years.
Mr Kurdi, who is a barber by trade, said: “We Syrians leave our country due to war. We all are afraid for our children, for our honour.
“There are barrel bombs, explosions and also Daesh. We have hundreds of thousands of problems.
“My family and I went to Izmer and we left to Bodrum. So we boarded the boat to go to Greece aiming to go to Germany or Sweden.
“We were in the sea for four or five minutes when the boat capsized and what happened, happened.”
Mr Kurdi had been in Turkey for three years but returned to Kobani in Syria to bury his sons beside their mother.
He told Channel 4: “I buried them and thank God. I’m happy I buried them at home.
“I want to help children because they know nothing about life except for laughing and playing. That’s all they know.
“So it’s a problem for children if we don’t look after them and take care of them.”