Photo Of Injured Syrian Child Surfaces, Reminds Us Of War's Horror

by Maria Guido
Originally Published: 

Image of wounded Syrian child is devastating

There’s nothing more haunting than an image of a wounded child.

A photo that has emerged from Aleppo, Syria is a gut-wrenching reminder that the turmoil there daily exists, even though the world’s spotlight has turned away from it.

Raf Sanchez, a correspondent for the Telegraph, shared the boy’s image on Twitter, after a video taken following some airstrikes was released on the Aleppo Media Center’s YouTube channel.

He’s five years old. His name is Omran Daqneesh.

The conflict in Syria is still taking a devastating toll. In this video, it takes a few seconds for the dazed child to raise his little hand to his head to assess his wound.

He’s five years old. His name is Omran Daqneesh. He doesn’t even cry. He just sits, stunned.

The Telegraph reports “the boy was one of five children injured by a Russian or Assad regime strike in the Qaterji neighbourhood of Aleppo.” Omran was injured in an airstrike on Wednesday evening along with four other children, one woman and two young men.

The Telegraph reports that Omran was taken to a hospital where his injuries were tended to. He was released later that night. Doctors at the hospital where he was treated said 12 other children, all under the age of 15, were also treated.

More than 3oo,ooo Syrians are estimated to have been killed in the country’s civil war.

The Syrian civil war started in 2011. That means Omran has not known a world without conflict. Think about that for a minute. CNN reports Aleppo, in northern Syria, “has been besieged for years during that country’s civil war. Thousands of people have been killed there, including 4,500 children, and many lives have been upended.”

“The truth is that the image you see today is repeated every day in Aleppo,” Mustafa al Sarouq, a cameraman with the Aleppo Media Center, told CNN. “Every day we cover these massacres and these war crimes in Aleppo. When we go to the places that have been bombed, regime planes circle around and bomb it again to kill rescue workers that are helping civilians. They kill these people who are trying to rescue people.”

He also said it took over an hour to dig Omran out of the rubble.

A friend of mine posted a news story with this image on Facebook this morning. One of the comments on her post said something to the effect that it wasn’t something the commenter wanted to see “first thing in the morning.” The comment stuck with me all day, as I wrestled with the thought of sharing a photo of an injured child; that we all really have the luxury of looking away — but beyond that, that we feel entitled to live in a world full of turmoil, but have our bubbles untouched.

This is a seemingly endless nightmare. And it’s so easy, as someone who is safe, to shut it all off — to turn away. Even though we may feel helpless to end suffering, doesn’t it make a difference that we can bear witness to it? Shouldn’t we be saying, Look. This is happening. Look at what’s happening.

I don’t know if it makes a difference. But when I look at the image of Omran, my soul whispers I see you. I wonder if that even matters. And I wonder why the civilians of Aleppo can’t be moved to a safer place. And I remember all the people in our own country who would close the borders off to Syrian refugees.

He’s five years old. His name is Omran Daqneesh.

CNN compiled a resource list to help Syrians survive the conflict

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