I woke up on a Saturday morning and the first thing I saw on my WhatsApp message was this message. The image that was attached to the message triggered an emotion and later a sharing frenzy in me. Images of children becoming casualties of war must be shared and a dictator like Bashar Assad must be condemned to hellfire!
But I was curious because the story strangely did not appear in news, so I decided to verify the message, googled “UNHCR Syrian Child Desert” and found similar news, only to be dated way back to February 2014. (check out the news link about Marwan).
Whether the photo was ‘professionally cropped” to stir audience’s emotion or otherwise was not the point. Marwan did take the journey through the Syrian desert, many of his family members were killed by Bashar Assad’s regime and he was only four years old then. At the time, the story of Marwan didn’t go global. We were slow to react probably because Bashar seemed like a really nice and innocent leader.
Fast forward a little over a year later, and the following image surfaced that had changed our understanding about the real geopolitics of Syria and about the real unapologetic Bashar. A 3-year-old Syrian boy named Aylan Kurdi was found dead on Greek shoreline, apparently drowned at sea after what must have been a gruesome journey to escape from Assad’s tyranny in Syria.
To date, Bashar Al-Assad is still the supreme leader of Syria and I still couldn’t do anything to help our Syrian brothers except to share sadness, anger and old photos.