Syria saw yet another incident of violence on its civilians, with the recent attack on the divided city of Aleppo. People covered in soot and caked blood were seen getting pulled out from dilapidated buildings in a video uploaded by an anti-government activist group Aleppo Media Centre. But, what shook the world was the image of a five-year-old Omran Daqneesh. People across countries witnessed the tragedy that Syria is going through, but the little boy must have seen people dying, buildings falling and sounds of bullets. Things which any five-year-old ideally should not be seeing, anywhere.
The image reminded people of another heart-wrenching photo, that of Aylan Kurdi, the boy who drowned in the Mediterranean while fleeing Syria in Septemeber 2015. And Khalid Albaih, an artist, summarized the choices available for children in Syria through a simple yet powerful picture he tweeted on August 18.
The artist drew Aylan Kurdi and Omran Daqneesh, side by side, with his text saying, “Choices for Syrian children”.
Talking to the indianexpress.com, Albaih said, “The picture describes two scenes from different time periods, but the same war and struggle of Syrian people and refugees of war all over the world. Omran who was pulled from under the ruins after a Russian air strike on Aleppo and Aylan who drowned in the Mediterranean.” He tried to send across a poignant message, that of the repercussions of the warfare that Syrians are living with. About the truth that, for the civilians is Syria, the chances for a better tomorrow are still very bleak.
The picture shared by the political cartoonist went viral on the Internet, soon after it was uploaded. Albaih told us that his inspiration to draw such cartoons comes from the fact that he is a refugee himself. The artist who is originally from Sudan, currently lives in Doha, Qatar. “As well as the fact that my children are within the same age and could also be in the same situation” he added. He believes the only way he can try to make a change is by drawing the gruesome reality of what Syrians go through every day.
The cartoon or Khartoon as Albaih calls it, has been retweeted more than 3,800 times and the artist is being lauded on the social media for shedding light on the battle that little kids are fighting in Syria.
This is Albaih’s tweet
— ALBAIH (@khalidalbaih) August 18, 2016
And the amazing response from people,
A dysfunctional world steadily losing its heart and soul. http://t.co/owIE2darQu
— Mohamed ElBaradei (@ElBaradei) August 18, 2016
@khalidalbaih Thank you for this powerful image. Thank you is the word sentiment, but I don’t know what else to say.
— JazzyD (@ystaton) August 19, 2016
— Christopher Smith (@ChrisVitalEnt) August 19, 2016
— Tugba Aktay (@TugbAktay) August 18, 2016
The 36-year-old designer is drawing a cartoon a day since the Arab Spring. He draws illustrations that are inspired by political events across the world. The artist is not happy, however. “The funny thing (or not so not funny) is that my cartoon of Alyan went viral as well but the situation is still the same.”, he said.