Syrian refugee Deeia Awad's kind Christmas gesture to drunken Kiwis

A Syrian refugee is getting into the Christmas spirit by offering drunken Kiwis a free lift. 

Wellington-based Deeia Awad, 19, left his home country Syria in 2012 to escape war and lived in Egypt for three years before moving to New Zealand. 

To give back to his new community, Mr Awad decided to offer his driving skills to people on Christmas Day who can't get behind the wheel themselves. 

"To say thanks to the nice people here I am offering my car and myself to give [a] safe ride to drunk people on Christmas Day!" he wrote in a Facebook post on Saturday. 

The post has garnered over 3000 likes, and the Countdown supermarket operator says he didn't expect it to gain so much attention. 

"I'm really happy with the turnout - I didn't even think people would share my post or go that far. I just wanted to help some people.

"So far I have had a lot of people messaging me saying how good I am... and it looks like a lot of people want to do it too." 

The post has been flooded with positive responses from people wishing the young refugee a Merry Christmas and thanking him for giving back to the community. 

"How awesome of you to help others out and give back," one person wrote. 

Another said, "I know you must miss your home but right now you're in the safest place on the planet". 

Wellington-based Deeia Awad, 19, left his home country Syria in 2012 to escape war and lived in Egypt for three years before moving to New Zealand.
Wellington-based Deeia Awad, 19, left his home country Syria in 2012 to escape war and lived in Egypt for three years before moving to New Zealand. Photo credit: Facebook / Deeia Awad

Others were impressed by Mr Awad's use of te reo Māori. 

"If you want you can give me a little Koha," he said in the post. Koha is a Māori custom which can be translated as an offering or donation. 

When asked what inspired him to make the post, Mr Awad told Newshub he has Christmas Day off work and doesn't have much else to do that day, so he thought he'd put his driving skills to good use. 

He's somewhat familiar with Christmas as some Christians in his community growing up in Syria celebrated the occasion, he said. 

"I know that people on Christmas get really drunk and a lot of the time there's people walking home," he said, adding that he just wants people in his community to get home safe. 

"Sometimes family members have no way to get there so I can also help them doing that. I just wanted to help my community."

He said he already has a customer booked for Christmas Day. He'll be giving a lady and her husband a ride to Lower Hutt to visit family, which he says he's "more than happy to do". 

He's even been invited to people's homes for Christmas as a kind gesture. 

Reflecting on his time living in New Zealand so far, Mr Awad said everyone has been welcoming which he says he's very grateful for. 

"I love New Zealand."

Newshub.

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