The Only Road Out of Africa by Brin Enterkin
14 Ways Agriculture is Reducing Poverty via Farming First
The women vanishing without a trace by Nina Lakhani
Death in Syria by Karen Yourish, K.K. Rebecca Lai and Derek Watkins
How Fear Drives American Politics by David Rothkopf
Five reflections on Europe's migrant crisis by Mark Urban
The Syrian Crisis: Practical ways to help by Cerys Parker
The CAR's rushed elections are a dangerous gamble via African Arguments
Russia: Children With Disabilities Face Discrimination via Human Rights Watch
Adept at Adapting by Bill Gates
While perusing Facebook on Sunday, I noticed this video was circulating with this article from Independent UK, showing a young boy being pulled from the rubble after a bombing in Syria-
I thought the video was thought-provoking and shared the link right away on our Facebook page. I also noted the date that the video was published- January 22nd, 2014. The person I copied the link from said that this had just happened last week and it was shocking to her that this was going on…
My frustration here is not just that people don’t pay attention to what they are sharing and getting upset about, but that people act like these are isolated events. This person apparently had no knowledge of what is happening in Syria, much less that this video was over a year old.
It should be upsetting to see a child in this situation, but children are caught in the middle of violence and war EVERY SINGLE DAY.
These children lose their childhood instantly, as well as any sense of safety or peace. Their families can be taken away by bombs and raids, their homes destroyed, and everything they know disappears.
Like the buildings turned to rubble around them, their lives are in ruins. It takes years and years to rebuild and a lot of these families have no choice but to live in the devastation as they attempt to pick up the pieces. And let’s be honest, life is never going to be the same.
Syria is not hidden from the media and their problems have been escalating for years. According to War Child UK, an estimated 100,000 people have died from the conflicts in Syria. And two million people have been displaced- one million being children.₁
It is difficult to picture such large numbers and it’s certainly not pleasant, but remember that it’s not fun for them either. I understand that a lot of people have never experienced life that way, but we have to stop dismissing others because their suffering makes us uncomfortable.
Watching that video again, I see two realities-
1) We are capable of unimaginable cruelty and hatred. Millions of innocent lives have been taken by war and terrorism, and not one is justified. Not every one is so lucky to be pulled out from the debris after these attacks; not every mother and father gets to hold their child again.
2) Humanity can prevail. The emotion, urgency, and ultimately love shown in this video is encouraging. Watching all of these men work to free this little boy; being so careful with his tiny body, wiping his face, comforting him, and praising their god that he was alive… That is what we are also capable of.
We are capable of good things and capable of making a difference in the world wherever we are. Videos like this should stir up feelings and call people to action, but they don't mean anything if we don't really pay attention to them.
Sharing a link on Facebook is one way to get people to notice an issue- but people have to understand what they are seeing. At the very least, check the dates, READ the material and WATCH the videos that you are sharing. If you don’t understand the context, then look it up. Be informed of what is happening around you.
To learn more about the conflicts in Syria and more about children caught in these places, check out the links below--
The Reuters' Syria feed and the Human Rights Watch Syria feed are great sources for current information on what is happening there.
War Child UK is an awesome organization that works with children that have been effected by war. They work in several high-conflict areas and have a great reputation.