A Touching Image of a Small Boy

 children shoes captured during refugees crisis.  Budapest, Hungary, Central Europe,  2015.

CAUTION: This article is deeply emotional and discretion is advised before choosing to read it.

Please scroll to end of note for a new Xmas song being sung by some

I saw an image that has touched me deeply on TV. It was a small boy. It was a fleeting image that has appeared more than once on BBC World service in a collage of images that are used as signatures before and after programs and many thoughts have  gone through my mind as I have tried to imagine what the full story of this sweet little boy of less than five might be, not very different from my own grandson at that age. Little children everywhere are so much alike especially when they are less than five. The image touched me even more than that of Aylan Kurdi of about the same age lying face down in the sand on a Turkish beach, because this boy had not yet left for heaven.

"Baba, lat yubki, aehna maak." ( Papa, please don't cry, I am with you)

The images above are not from BBC. In the BBC image the little boy was standing all alone, very still, a little removed from others in a crowd of refugees, a small lean boy standing erect, serious and forlorn, perhaps very tired from miles and miles of walking, as refugees from Syria have been doing before they find a roof to lie down under, tired but not sitting down because others are standing too, perhaps waiting to be allowed to pass through another check point, there have been so many in this journey of thousands of miles, alone because possibly his only guardian, a father has gone away for an errand and his mother and sisters were ripped apart by barrel bombs and he saw their pieces fly out the door before they left, that was before he and his father decided to run away from fear of another attack, leaving behind their car and all they possessed, they must take to open country and stay away from the roads where men armed with guns roam.  His father locked the home in case they come back one day, but the wall at the back has been blown away by an earlier bomb and locking is all but symbolic, they may never return, they must carry with them as little as possible, Johnny wanted to bring along the blocks his mama had  gifted on his fourth birthday but Papa says they must travel light, that he shall get him a new set just as soon as they reach Germany, he has hidden the little family gold on his body and they shall not pass through Slovakia, from where his cousin has messaged him, the guards  strip them, search, and take all the gold and money away before throwing them in prison, even children.

The boy continues to stand forlorn, now in a distant land, the TV shot suddenly shows a hand being extended towards him with a glass of water. The boy spots it and grabs it quickly, swiftly with both his small tender hands in gratefulness, in much the same gesture as a child would grab a much awaited Christmas or Birthday gift from a loving parent, as if he has been thirsty for a very long time, the image fades from the screen and another one replaces it.

From a sad child to Paris

PS: There are millions of other like Johnny of this note fleeing violence in Syria. Is it very difficult, for the world to help? It certainly is not. All the leading countries have to do is come together, US; UK; France, Saudi Arabia, Russia and Iran, create and announce a transitional International government independent of the Syrian factions, ask all to surrender their weapons for peace and those who do not, make them do so. More on that here

A different eye may see this not as a heart breaking image of a dead child but of a proud symbol of western civilization, with a flag of France fluttering proudly in its midst on the beach, not a dead infant stomach,  proud of their values yet unable to protect the sweet children of our world, even aiding the offending parties at times

  Listen hear ye, angels scream
A new child dead today
from Libya to Sudan
from Sudan to Yemen
From Yemen to Gaza
Gaza to Baghdad
Baghdad to Kabul
loud is the scream
horror and sorrow
A new child dead today
What a shame, if these are the values the best of humans on the planet have become proud of, could an apocalypse be far away. What use are any other values, howsoever grand if the world permits/aids torture instead of taking care of the sweetest, most innocent, most loving and vulnerable of humans amongst them - infant children? Read about that apocalypse here

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