The full horror of the human tragedy unfolding on the shores of Europe was brought home on Wednesday as images of the lifeless body of a young boy — one of at least 12 Syrians who drowned attempting to reach the Greek island of Kos — encapsulated the extraordinary risks refugees are taking to reach the west. A second image portrays a grim-faced policeman carrying the tiny body away. Within hours it had gone viral becoming the top trending picture on Twitter under the hashtag KiyiyaVuranInsanlik humanity washed ashore. Turkish media identified the boy as three-year-old Alan Kurdi and reported that his five-year-old brother had also met a similar death. Both had reportedly hailed from the northern Syrian town of Kobani, the site of fierce fighting between Islamic state insurgents and Kurdish forces earlier this year. Greek authorities, coping with what has become the biggest migration crisis in living memory, said the boy was among a group of refugees escaping Islamic State in Syria.
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Her father is an Arab Christian of Syrian origin. Dina Hayek 10 June is a popular Lebanese singer. She gained popularity by the release of her second album, Katabtillak. Her father is Lebanese and her mother is Syrian. Sulaf Fawakherji 22 July, Latakia is a prominent Syrian film and TV actress, notable for her distinctive light eyes. She has played many roles on Syrian soap operas. She was born to a Lebanese father and Syrian mother in Syria.
More than a thousand people are believed to have been killed in recent weeks as Syrian government forces laid siege to the rebel-controlled region of eastern Ghouta outside the capital of Damascus. Despite international pressure to call a ceasefire, Syrian ground forces and Russian-backed air forces have maintained their assault, recently gaining territory and splitting the region into three parts. This battle is just one of many still taking place across the fractured nation of Syria seven years since the start of its civil war.
The photographs immediately ricocheted across the globe, became instant icons, and inspired an outpouring of outrage, empathy, urgency, and shame. Such disparagement has a respectable intellectual lineage. And yet the Syrian war also illuminates, with brutal clarity, what a world without pity looks like. In this case, I am inclined to think that a bit of pity—a desire by onlookers, however superficial, to alleviate even a modicum of suffering—is a good thing. For some observers, the answer is to be found in the semiotics of the photographs themselves.