Over the past five years, the Syrian Civil War has displaced millions of children. But a recent image of a wounded Syrian boy sitting in the back of an ambulance serves as a heart-wrenching reminder that the bloody conflict is ongoing — and that we can help.
Footage from the Aleppo Media Center, an activist organization associated with the Syrian opposition, shows 5-year-old Omran Daqneesh being carried out of a besieged apartment building in the rebel-held neighborhood of Qaterji. Daqneesh, his head bloodied and his body covered in dust, appears to be confused as he sits in the ambulance seat.
According to the Associated Press, the boy's three siblings and two parents were also rescued from the rubble and treated at an Aleppo hospital known as M10 on Wednesday. Daqneesh was later discharged from the hospital.
The airstrikes in Aleppo have intensified over the past few weeks, with schools and hospitals often the targets. The bombardments, which cut off part of the city, have left numerous children hurt.
Resilient Syrians have transformed Daqneesh's photo into a compelling call-to-action for the international community to take heed of the situation in Syria and send help. He is, according to The Telegraph's Raf Sanchez, being described as Aleppo's "representative to the outside world."
A number of social media users have even Photoshopped him into scenes that make Daqneesh's new international role appear even more literal, depicting him as a diplomat and petitioner of Obama and Putin.
Americans looking to help should know that there are many humanitarian organizations supplying aid for the displaced families in war-torn Syria. Many charities, including Doctors Without Borders and UNICEF, welcome monetary donations to help with their efforts of supplying food and medicine to Syrian children.
Gader Ibrahim, the California-based founder of aid organization Operation Refugee Child and a mother of two, told TODAY that she hopes Daqneesh's photo moves Americans to take action and to learn more.
"They can volunteer their time, and they can find [organizations] like mine — small, grassroots organizations that need their donations because we actually go out and help these people," she said, adding later, "There's only so much we can do on social media."
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