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A cartoonist captures the deadly choice that Syrian children face

Reuters/Bassam Khabieh
An unending tragedy.
  • Annalisa Merelli
By Annalisa Merelli

Senior reporter based in New York City

Published Last updated This article is more than 2 years old.

Khalid Albaih, a Sudanese cartoonist based in Doha, is one of the most poignant commentators of the struggles of refugees, migrants, and victims of war and religious persecutions. Through his cartoons, like one depicting a black Jesus drowned in the Mediterranean, or an angel holding a dead Syrian child, he not only draws attention to tragedies but also the causes behind them.

As today’s (Aug. 18) photo of Omran Daqneesh, a 5-year-old Syrian boy rescued after a airstrike in Aleppo, shakes the world, Albaih has authored a powerful image that has already been shared on social media platforms thousands of times:

The image, titled “Choices” shows Omran Daqneesh next to another victim of the same tragedy, Aylan Kurdi, the 3-year-old Syrian refugee found dead on the beach of Kos a year ago. The image of Aylan Kurdi sparked similar outrage.

While images of the horror that Syrian children face may temporarily shake our collective conscience, nothing seems to change the reality of the millions who have been facing war for years on end. These are daily realities for people whose choice is to risk death by staying or risk death by leaving.

No public amount of compassion can change that.

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