Sad state of affairs

Heartbreaking photo of “surrendering” Syrian girl goes viral

Twitter/@NoonArabia

The heart-rending photo of a young Syrian girl in a refugee camp, raising her hands in apparent surrender, took the Internet by storm last week after it was tweeted by Gaza-based photojournalist Nadia Abu Shaban. Her original post was retweeted more than 11,000 times, with people airing their grief and distress at the image of a frightened-looking toddler, seemingly staring down the barrel of a gun. Some suspected the photo was fake or staged, but the BBC tracked down Osman Sağırlı, the Turkish photojournalist who captured the image, to get the truth about it. He revealed that he took the shot last December at the Atmeh refugee camp in Syria, where the girl had fled with her mother and two siblings from their home in Hama, some 150 kilometers away. “I was using a telephoto lens, and she thought it was a weapon,” Sağırlı said. “I realized she was terrified after I took it, and looked at the picture, because she bit her lips and raised her hands. Normally kids run away, hide their faces or smile when they see a camera.” The photo was published in a Turkish newspaper in January, where it was widely shared on social media at the time, but didn’t go viral in the West until last week’s tweet by Abu Shaban.

Read the full story at BBC News.

 

 

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