Polish public to buy new lorry for stranded Iranian

An Iranian man whose lorry broke down in Poland will be given a new truck after a fundraising drive

Fardin Kazemi has been sleeping in his broken-down truck until locals came to his aid. Facebook/ @IranianInternational
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An Iranian driver who was stranded after his lorry broke down in Poland received a helping hand from locals who launched a crowd-funding initiative for a new truck to take him home.

Self-employed lorry driver Fardin Kazemi was delivering raisins to Poland and planned to continue on to the Czech Republic to pick up goods to import to Iran when his American International 9670 lorry broke down.

Mr Kazemi was forced to sleep in his truck after the breakdown 5,550 kilometres from home in the southern city of Czestochowa in early December. Locals provided him with food and a roof over his head a few days after the vehicle broke down, but quickly decided they wanted to do more to help.

Polish lorry-drivers joined forces to help him repair the vehicle, and when that proved impossible, they decided to crowd-fund him a new one.

"I have travelled all over Europe for 27 years… so far I have not had the chance to get to know Poles better, although they have always been nice. Now it turns out that they are wonderful people, and it is difficult for me to believe in all the help I received," Mr Kazemi told local newspaper Dziennik Zachodni.

By Friday morning, the appeal on the website zrzutka.pl had drawn more than 250,000 zlotys (Dh240,000) in donations for Mr Kazemi.

A replacement lorry was found on Thursday but its seller DAF Trucks - a Dutch manufacturing company which is a division of US firm Paccar - pulled out at the last minute for fear of being affected by US sanctions against Iran.

The organisers of the online appeal now hope to quickly find another vehicle for Mr Kazemi, according to a video posted to Facebook.