The Reality Of Our Heart: Syria


The reality of the Syrian civil war that’s been going on for four years is one of catastrophe, disappointment and inhumanity.

My feelings towards the image of the drowned child include disgust. Not only disgusted that this angel’s life ended so tragically, but more so disgusted at the reaction of the public towards this image that’s being circulated. 1. I can almost guarantee you that this story wouldn’t have recieved half the media attention and shares it’s gotten if it wasn’t for this image. 2. I find it extremely dehumanising that we aren’t coming to terms with the gruelling reality that these people are living under, unless we’re given a picture to show us. This is a slightly random comparison but this photo almost reminds me of World War 1 where people who stayed at home and didn’t fight in the war, didn’t know the extent of human degradation and brutality that soldiers faced in the trenches, simply because they weren’t there. I guess the people who stayed at home were obviously brainwashed due to the propaganda and glorification of the war itself in the beginning so it’s not completely their fault as they were sold lies, but with our current situation we know 100% what’s occurring in Syria. Four years down the line, the situation is reaching new peaks of calamity everyday.

I’m against sharing these images because a. If that was a baby in my family, I wouldn’t want their dignity being jeopardised with a photo of them dead by the shore. 2. Without realising, we’re constantly becoming more and more desensitised to the reality of these poor people with these images being shared around the Internet. Kind of like what happened in 2013 where babies were chemically gassed in Syria, or similar to how a year ago, children’s limbs were being blown off in the Gaza war. We felt sadness, we felt disgusted, we shared some images and moved on.

Now I’m not naive, I know that behind this chaos, there lies immense political tension, that only God knows what the solution to is, but I’m deeply saddened by the reality of us humans. We’ve reached a time where the only time you’d catch us sharing stories about tragedies is when it’s a photo that includes a baby dead by the shore.

I shared the story of the Syrian baby with my family without showing them any pictures. After this, everyone starting praying for the Syrians and then carried on with life shortly after. A few hours later I read a man’s status regarding the image of this child and how it reminded him about once when he lost his child, also drowning. Everyone was shaken by this story in my family, like I said without the photos but for some reason the pain of this man who shared the status on also having lost a child resonated even more with me. Now, of course many of us haven’t dealt with that same pain but I feel this is the type of pain we should be embracing when remembering these people in prayer. Truly empathising with them and sincerely praying for them. Placing yourselves in their shoes as they say. I’m not saying stop your lives and cry 24 hours a day, but I feel we really need to wake up to what’s going on in the world, without waiting for the evidence through photos.

In terms of how we can help, at this moment I’m clueless. It’s a big political mess, which I believe only God has the power to untie but empathy comes in many forms. Be it through prayer, charity, thinking of these people or just simply acknowledging the blessings you’ve been given and thanking God for them.

Most days, I really feel helpless about what we as people can do to help. The only thing that makes me smile when remembering these victims is that they will hopefully live like Kings and Queens in the next life.

We’re lucky. We are so lucky that we’re able to get up each day without worrying that we don’t have anything to eat, or worrying that we might not live another day to see our family members, or worrying that we’ll have to get on a boat and flee as the sea is much more safer than the land we reside in.

My heart bleeds for the baby that lay by the shore, gone to God, may his soul be at rest. May his parents be granted access to Jannah. May we live to witness the revival of security and safety in these peoples lands. May they one day smile again and be reconnected to their culture, their home, and their families. May we live to see Syria’s freedom. Of course not only Syria, but the many countries that you all already know about.

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September 2015
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