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Culture > News

Viral Photo of Injured Boy Shows the Human Devastation of the War in Syria

As the horrendous civil war in Syria drags on, the children of the country suffer the physical and mental consequences.

This all became even more clear when a 5-year-old boy, Omran Daqneesh, was pictured in the back of an ambulance after being discovered by authorities—and quickly went viral. A tweet of the photo by Telegraph reporter Raf Sanchez has more than 18,000 retweets.

Daqneesh, along with five other boys, was injured after an aerial attack, according to the Telegraph. He is covered in dirt and blood, and is seemingly unware of it all as he sits in the back of the ambulance awaiting medical help. He was later released from the hospital after suffering head injuries and cuts.

This graphic picture and video of Omran speaks to the devastation that Syria and its residents, both adult and children, face every day—driving home the real human consequences of a conflict that can feel incredibly far away to many of us. The fact that there are many more Omran Daqneeshs that we’ll never see is the most devastating part of it all. And while countries sit and debate what exactly it is that can be done to help the people of Syria, more people die and more children, like Omran, are injured.

Three other people were killed in the attack that injured Omran, which also injured at least eight other women and children.

In April, according to Al Jazeera, UN Special Enoy Staffan de Mistura said that an estimated 400,000 people have died in the Syrian civil war. This incredibly large number is indicative of a need for help from other countries, and it’s unfortunate that the topic is still up for debate in so many nations.

As countries debate whether or not is is viable to accept Syrian refugees, more lives are devastated and ruined through this unimaginable violence. But you can help if you feel compelled to. UNICEF is accepting donations to help children in Syria, as are a number of other charitiable organizations.

Through it all, there’s hope that the viral picture of Omran will spark a better understanding of why assistance to the people of Syria is so incredibly vital, as the longer the debate of what to do goes on, the worse the situation gets.

Lauren Grimaldi is a political science student minoring in journalism at Roosevelt University in Chicago. She was a staff reporter on her college newspaper, the Roosevelt Torch, for the past two years, and will enter into her third year of college as the Managing Editor of the paper. Lauren also writes for Study Breaks, an online college magazine that features student writers from across the nation. In the future, she hopes to work as a political reporter to bring the most important news on government and policy to the public. While she loves reporting political news, her favorite articles to write by far are political op-eds. Outside of politics, her interests include comedy, baseball, hockey, and food. Lauren can be reached at laurengrimaldi@hercampus.com. You can also follow her on Twitter at @LaurenGrimaldi1.