I wish I could I could tell you this is an isolated incident. I wish I could write the 5 year old in the picture has never seen horror like he did the day this video and photo were taken, but I would be lying.
According to The Aleppo Media Center the boy in the ambulance is 5 year old Omran Daqneesh. He was injured in an airstrike that hit Aleppo earlier this week.
Aleppo has been hit badly since the conflict began 5 years ago and life has only gotten worse for the thousands of people still living in the area. Rights groups and locals have raised awareness that Russian-backed pro-government forces are targeting hospitals which violates a ceasefire meant for humanitarian aid delivery and they’re attacking the city with chlorine gas.
The United Nations’ Independent International Commission of Inquiry report 5 medical centers in the opposition area of Aleppo have been destroyed in strikes this year alone and said, “Access to medical care in these areas is largely non-existent.”
A handful of doctors, who remain to help, wrote President Barack Obama pleading for the international community to take action before the remaining survivors are killed in strikes or starved to death. Part of their words, “We do not need tears or sympathy or even prayers. We need your action.”
I stopped in 2015 when the photo of 3 year old Aylan Kurdi circulated on twitter. On September 2nd, while he and his family tried to escape the war of Syria and make their way to Europe, he drowned in the Mediterranean Sea. These children are not just hashtag’s and deserve more than a retweet and fake social media outrage.
This video haunts me. His eyes never shed tears and this baby wipes the blood from his face like I would wipe sweat from my brow after a light jog. I can’t believe his entire life has been filled with hunger and war – it’s all he knows.
Omran’s parents are facing death, his sister is in better shape than they are and after a doctor sewed this little boy up, he was returned to family. The physician who stitched him said he never cried. not once…
I weep for you baby boy.
Syria’s civil war has claimed the lives of hundreds of thousands of civilians, including many children just like Omran. And while I pause for a moment to feel bad, maybe even shed tears, I quickly go back to my everyday life and forget.
I don’t want to forget this time.