ALEPPO, Sy. – Omran Daqneesh, the five year-old Syrian boy who made international headlines last month after a shocking photo appeared online depicting him dazed and covered in blood just moments after an airstrike obliterated his neighborhood, will receive free McDonald’s for life.
The generous offering comes from Linus and Olivia Carter, the affluent south Florida couple who founded The Liberation Project, a non-profit organization tasked with rescuing guinea pigs from medical facilities where they are used to conduct scientific experiments. “I can remember when I first saw Omran on the news, my first thought was, ‘Now that little boy could use a Happy Meal,” Olivia Carter told the Tampa Tribune. “I just knew I had to do something.”
The Carters immediately charted a flight to Damascus where they dined on caviar and roast duck with Syrian president Bashar al-Assad at one of his lavish personal residences. “Of course we wanted to go and meet with Omran to personally thank him for his sacrifice,” Mrs. Carter explained. “But Bashar – as always – was quite insistent that the entire area had been overrun by al Qaeda.”
Instead the young Daqneesh was presented in absentia with an ultra-rare 24-carat McDonald’s Gold Card entitling him to free meals for life. “Because Omran could not be there himself, [Syrian Defense Minister] Fahd Jassem al-Freij graciously accepted our contribution in his place,” Mrs. Carter told the Tribune. The defense minister promised to travel with his entourage to Omran Daqneesh’s demolished neighborhood in Aleppo to personally present the displaced child with the Carters’ gift.
More than 400,000 people have lost their lives and another 11 million have been displaced since the start of the bloody civil war that has gripped Syria since March of 2011. Since their inception in 1968, only two hundred McDonald’s Gold Cards have been made. Notable recipients of the card include Bill Gates, Warren Buffett, and actor Rob Lowe.