I woke this morning, and as the typical fellow human with accounts to various social media sites/apps and started to check my feed. I noticed every so often that a particular post was ‘trending’ on my timeline.
Amidst the spectacle of the Rio Olympics, the circus of the world, the United States Presidential Election 2016; it was images of a weary-looking boy, sitting alone and bewildered after being plucked from a bombed building that could possibly once been his home.
Bloody, confused, scared, but most importantly-innocent, the world met 5-year-old Omran Daqneesh. It was Omran who made the headlines, cover stories, that made the air strike attack in Aleppo go viral. It was images of this child that brought shock and revulsion from both Syrians and us ‘foreigners’ on social media around the globe.
Omran Daqneesh is now known as, “the boy in the ambulance”- which in retrospect, brought me back to the image of Aylan Kurdi, the Syrian boy whose body was found washed up in a beach in Turkey a little over a year ago after his family attempted to escape the harshness of what’s presently going on in Syria. Then, it was Aylan’s body that brought the world’s attention to the growing refugee crisis, now its Omran’s.
The children, these families, individuals, masses who have lost their lives to a pointless war all because of conflicts caused by hate, why? Why is nothing being done? Is it because people are being misplaced by governments that only care to profit and care less about those caught in the crossfire? If we can stand up for a football team, why can’t we stand up for humans in need?
Truth be told, it is because our attention span to issues as tragic as this wavers. To be honest, yes, the image of the boy tugged at my heart for I am a sister, and as a general individual caught up in the medias various hyper-commercialism of things, the image of a child suffering is going to settle in the mind longer than had it been his entire family on the cover. He, as mentioned has become headlined in all major newsoutets, but what got me to writing was the fact that various sites have created him to be an emblem of despair for the country.
Would you want your child to be labeled a “symbol of suffering?” I should hope to think not. What’s worse, there are hundreds of other images of dead and injured children from Syria that are being shared daily on social media. Pieces of children’s bodies being pulled from rubble are photographed with appalling regularity in this war of indiscriminate attacks. Why make these children into the icons of war? Has Syria’s cries really not been heard thus far, so much that they are putting forth innocence to at least our heads turned to the screen for a second?
And here we are, in America, feeling sorry for the boy. Why? In the images, he has not shed one tear. Through this traumatic ordeal, he still faces life and moves on. The one thing call to mind is that this is children we are talking about. In no way should we be glorifying their suffering for a means to an end- in this case, war. There are other ways to go about this, but please, do not bring images of children who have unknowingly been afflicted by the world of hate and love. Protect the image of innocence, not enhance the suffering.