Haidar had recently turned three years old when he lost both his parents in a tragic suicide bombing in Bouj Al-Barajneh, Beirut.
The suicide bombing, which struck Lebanon’s capital on November 12, injured the three-year-old and left him as an orphan.
— Rana Harbi (@RanaHarbi) November 15, 2015
Within days, local reporter Rana Harbi tweeted about Haidar and his story with photographs of him in hospital dressed in Real Madrid’s home and away outfits. “Can we help Haidar (who lost both his parents in the terrorist attack on Beirut) meet Cristiano [Ronaldo]?” tweeted Harbi on November 16, citing Cristiano Ronaldo as Haidar’s favorite football player. The tweet quickly went viral, with more than 9,000 shares of Harbi’s tweet and tens of thousands of tweets using the hashtag #CristianoMeetHaidar.
Less than 24 hours later, Real Madrid answered Harbi’s tweet and contacted Haidar’s guardians to organize a meeting with Cristiano Ronaldo.
“I’m out of words. Can’t beleive Haidar will actually meet Cristiano Ronaldo. Thanks everyone. Never underestimate the power of a tweet,” said Harbi on Twitter.
A month later, on December 18, Haidar’s dreams finally came true. Real Madrid flew the young boy to Madrid where he shared a heart-warming moment with the Portuguese superstar, his team mates and other Real Madrid personalities, including Florentino Perez, the Chief of the Club.
As Haidar, dressed in a personalized club shirt, was hugged by Cristiano Ronaldo, he quickly broke down in tears while also attempting to smile.
On Twitter, Real Madrid shared a photograph of Ronaldo and the three-year-old fan.
“Haidar, a three-year-old Real Madrid fan who lost both of his parents in a bombing in Beirut in November, spent a few days in Madrid last week. He had the chance to fulfill one of his dreams by meeting his idol Cristiano Ronaldo,” said Real Madrid on Twitter.
— Rana Harbi (@RanaHarbi) December 19, 2015
Rana Harbi, who effectively allowed for this encounter to happen, tweeted photographs of Haidar playing soccer and video games with football player Marcelo Vieira’s son, adding that her “faith in humanity” had been restored.