The little Syrian boy in haunting photographs and video from Aleppo has been identified as Omran Daqneesh.
The photo has become an iconic image of war. The New York Times says the startling image of the little boy, who stares at the camera as he sits in a chair, has become a “symbol of Aleppo’s suffering.”
NBC calls him the “boy in the ambulance” and says he captures the “horror” in Syria.
The Beirut bureau chief for the New York Times, Anne Barnard, wrote on Facebook, “We can get numb seeing dead and injured children remotely day after day, but some pix particularly get to the mom in me and this is one. The orange chair. The expression. I want to give him a hug. Many kids come in without any family member by their side. I hope his are alive and can come soon.”
On Aug. 20, Omran’s older brother, Ali Daqneesh, 10, died from injuries sustained in the same airstrike.
Here’s what you need to know:
1. Omran is Five Years Old & Was Injured in an Air Strike
A video of the little boy was also posted online (see above). It shows the moment that the boy was photographed. The boy is placed in a chair inside an ambulance, where he appears expressionless, as if in shock, although at one point he wipes his dust-streaked face.
Moments before the photo was taken, Omran “was pulled from the wreckage of his home in the Qaterji neighborhood of eastern Aleppo, destroyed by an airstrike carried out by Syrian government or Russian forces in the middle of the night,” says pri.org.
The photos of Omran came from the above video, which pri says was distributed by an activist network called the Aleppo Media Center.
Time Magazine also says the video shows “the immediate aftermath of an apparent Syrian government or Russian airstrike in a rebel-held neighborhood of the northern city, which for years has been a battleground between government and opposition forces.”
2. The Little Boy Has Been Released From The Hospital But Didn’t Cry, a Doctor Says
BBC says the surgeon who treated Omran says “he has been discharged from hospital and ‘didn’t cry.'”
Barnard posted the above photo of Omran after he was cleaned up at the hospital.
A nurse told ABC News that Omran didn’t cry because he was in shock.”He didn’t say anything except to ask for his parents,” Abu Rajab from the Syrian American Medical Society said to ABC.
A few days before the video of Omran was made, a group of doctors wrote President Barack Obama a letter “asking for aid for the civilians who are trapped. ‘We do not need tears or sympathy or even prayers. We need your action,'” said the letter, according to Time.
3. He Was One of a Dozen Children Treated That Day, Reports Say
Omran has become a symbol, but The New York Times says that 12 other children under the age of 15 were also treated at the hospital that day.
The photographer who snapped the iconic photo is Mahmoud Raslan. He told The Independent, “We were passing them from one balcony to the other.” He saw “three lifeless bodies” before seeing the boy.
ABC says Aleppo is divided between Russia-backed government forces and rebels.
4. Omran’s Parents & Sister Were Also Pulled Out of The Rubble Alive
Barnard, the Beirut bureau chief, wrote on Facebook that the little boy “came in with four young men, maybe siblings or other relatives.”
One scene shows Omran sitting near his injured sister. A journalist with Euro News wrote on Twitter: “His two other siblings and parents were all pulled out alive.”
According to ABC News, Omran’s parents “They arrived shortly after, in a second wave of people. Only then once Omran saw them did he start crying.”
Omran’s parents told “medical staff they would not speak for fear of reprisal from forces allied to the regime of President Bashar al Assad,” said ABC.
Omran suffered head wounds, but had no brain injury, said The Independent, adding that eight people died in the air strike, among them five children.
5. Omran Has Moved People’s Hearts Throughout The World
On Twitter, people used the hashtag #omrandaqneesh to post about the little boy. Many used the photo to make political commentary about war: