A Syrian father’s solution to help his young daughter deal with relentless shelling and firing in the strife-torn region is now a viral video.
Journalist Mehmet Algan shared a video on Twitter of a resident from the city of Idlib who taught his 4-year-old daughter that the sounds of overhead aircraft and bombs were part of a game. “Every time a voice comes in, the family laughs so that the game doesn’t break. Syria was a slow motion defeat of humanity. Too big heart pain,” he wrote.
In the video, Abdullah Al-Mohammad and his daughter Selva are heard laughing hard every time a bomb is heard exploding in the background.
Watch the video here:
Abdullah ve güzel kızı Selva. Yukarıda durumlarını paylaştığım baba kız. Ve yine tekrar eden o kahredici oyun. Anlamak için Arapça bilmenize gerek yok. pic.twitter.com/wUwKAcLzWE
— Mehmet Algan (@alganmehmett) February 16, 2020
There has been intense bombing in the Syrian province of Idlib for the last couple of weeks as a coalition of Russian and pro-government troops advance in the last bastion held by rebels.
Talking to Independent Turkish, the 32-year-old father said the game came to his mind after bombs fell near their home in the Serakıb area.
“There was a lot of bombardment. The children were suffering from psychological problems and nervous breakdowns because of the bombings,” he said.
Abdullah said he told his daughter that the sounds of the bombs and guns were from toy guns that they used for games during holidays.
“I taught that it wasn’t scary and she should laugh,” he said.
On social media, many said that the video as heartbreaking and praised the man for protecting his child. Some drew comparisons with the Roberto Benigni film ‘Life Is Beautiful’, in which a father shields his son from the horrors of a concentration camp for Jews in the Second World War by claiming its all part of a game.
— Zainab Sikander (@zainabsikander) February 18, 2020
He succeeded in making his daughter laugh while they were hearing the bombs. He protected her from feeling afraid. That’s so emotional😭💔. I hope they would be OK. The video expresses a lot of indescribable meanings.
— 𝐹𝒶𝓉𝒾𝓂𝒶 𝒜𝓁𝒾 🦋🌼 (@Fatima_Ali_A) February 17, 2020
A stolen childhood and admiration for the dad
— Patricia (@PatriciaW2256) February 17, 2020
So poignant. Reminds me of the film: “Life is Beautiful”
— patdevereaux (@patdevereaux) February 17, 2020
Oh my God !!! How terrible is it that children have to play such games to manage genuine appropriate emotion 😢.what kind of a world are we giving them !?
— Rabee’a Abrar ربیعہ (@rubiaabrar) February 17, 2020
— Mannu (@mannu_meh) February 18, 2020
This breaks my heart. May Allah protect them, and punish those responsible for their suffering
— حفصه (@tbhafsah) February 18, 2020
Oh god… this is so sad and heartbreaking 😢 God, please help this cute little baby, her family and all the other oppressed people in the world.
— Adil Aman (@Adilaman2007) February 17, 2020
Heart wrenching. Speechless. https://t.co/eOZdz5zXry
— Sarwat Firoz (@firoz_sarwat) February 18, 2020
Life teaches survival tricks. It may be sad for us but a necessary survival trick for the family. To be scared on a day to day basis is worse than death. https://t.co/g6CGwOo3DY
— gangadhar (@hgangadhar1) February 18, 2020
Breaks my heart… Listen to the pure joy in the girl’s laughter. 💔💜 https://t.co/awrvfFpXXJ
— Apoorva Jayachandran (@Jay_Apoorva18) February 18, 2020
Since December 2019 an estimated 900,000 people have been forced to flee, most of them women and children, the UN said in a report earlier this week.
The UN said that health facilities and schools were being targeted. UN’s Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs, Mark Lowcock, warned that “the biggest humanitarian horror story of the 21st Century” could only be avoided with a ceasefire. Babies and small children were dying because of the cold, he said, with people forced to sleep outside in freezing temperatures as camps were full.
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