Today, This Syrian Boy Is A Symbol Of Aleppo's Suffering. Will He Matter Tomorrow?
By now, you must already know about Omran Daqneesh, the five-year-old Syrian boy, photos of whom covered in blood and dust has shocked the world. He is seen sitting alone inside an ambulance with his feet dangling off the edge of a chair too big for his size.
The dramatic photo was taken by photojournalist Mahmoud Raslan
"We were passing them from one balcony to the other," Mahmoud Raslan was quoted as saying by The New York Times. He said he had passed along three lifeless bodies when someone handed him the wounded boy, who then gave the child to a rescue worker, who rushed him to the ambulance, reported the NYT.
Mahmoud Abu Rajab, a nurse who treated Omran said, "he was in a daze. It was as if he was asleep. Not unconscious, but traumatised — lost."
This video footage posted on 17 August by the Aleppo Media Center, captured the exact moment the five-year-old boy was rescued following an airstrike in Aleppo.
The above video was filed by Mustafa al-Sarout, an Aleppo-based journalist.
"I've seen so many children rescued out of the rubble, but this child, with his innocence, he had no clue what was going on. He put his hand on his face and saw blood. He didn't know even what happened to him. I've photographed a lot of airstrikes in Aleppo, but there was so much there in his face, the blood and the dust mixed, at that age," the journalist, Mustafa, narrated his account of Omran to The Guardian.
Today, human-rights activists and journalists, in their attempt to humanise the horrors of half a decade long conflict in Syria, have made Omran Daqneesh the latest symbol of Aleppo's suffering
The New York Times' Anne Barnard, while writing about how Omran became "a symbol of Aleppo's suffering", said, "...some images strike a particular nerve, for reasons both obvious and unknowable, jarring even a public numbed to disaster. Omran’s is one."
Even Twitter has reacted, with Omran's photograph converted into memes, a practice that has become a norm.
Omran's memes, however, cry for help and mock the unwillingness of global powers to stop the war.
While Omran is bringing new attention to the thousands upon thousands of children killed and injured during five years of war, it's highly unlikely that this image will galvanise the global public and force international action to resolve the Syrian conflict
In the end, though, this image, like the one from 2 September 2015 of a 3-year-old drowned Syrian boy, would not matter tomorrow
Because as Michael Weiss of The Daily Beast writes, world powers will continue to wrangle in Switzerland over non-existent "cease-fires" and shambolic "aid corridors."
So while today the world that is shocked at it, as emotions are running high, the five-year-old boy's image will soon fade away from the memories of the same world, which has become too used to talking about events that are viral in the moment and not next.
This video by AJ+ perfectly sums up that while it took an image of a child covered in blood and dirt to get you to care about Syria again, what follows the usual outrage is shameful as there has been no sustained effort to try and halt the whole military process in Syria
Syria, despite having had a politically unstable past, was not always the war-torn state that people were desperately running away from:
This story is the personal opinion of the writer.
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