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9 Jan, 2018 16:32

Young Syrian shoeshiner gets lifetime gym membership after viral photo

Young Syrian shoeshiner gets lifetime gym membership after viral photo

A young Syrian shoeshiner has been given free lifetime gym membership after a picture of him longingly staring inside a Turkish fitness center went viral.

Muhammad Hussein was snapped standing outside the Olimpiyat Spor gym in Adıyaman, southeast Turkey, with his shoeshine stand slung on his back.

The center’s owners shared the photo online, asking where they could find the boy. Their request seemed to strike a chord with many as it quickly went viral. The image was shared thousands of times on social media by users in Turkey and around the world.

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"I swear to God, I am emotional,” one instagram user wrote, while another said on Twitter: "It's happening in our country, beautiful thing, really. Bravo, bravo.”

All this publicity quickly identified Muhammad and the gym’s owners gave the 15 year old free membership for life as well as some clothes to wear while he is working out.

The teenager is 89kg and he said his goal is to lose weight, Turkish newspaper Sabah reports.

Mustafa Kucukkaya, one of the center's owners, said: “It affected me very much because we came from nothing and we did not have such a gym in our time. The Turkish people are very sensitive about this issue, I am very touched, I think we are doing something very good.”