A CNN presenter fought back tears during a broadcast about a Syrian boy who survived a bomb attack in Aleppo after his photo became a symbol of the suffering of children in Syria.
Video footage showed the five-year-old sat in the chair, completely in shock, as people rushed around him to try and administer aid. He was caught up in a military attack on the rebel-held area of the Qaterji neighbourhood which has been besieged by air strikes in recent weeks.
Omran was one of 12 children to receive medical treatment after the airstrikes. His picture is being used to highlight the humanitarian crisis that is now an everyday reality for those living under civil war.
CNN anchor Kate Bolduan opened her segment on Thursday evening with a still of Omran sat in the ambulance chair as the death toll of children in five years of conflict in Aleppo alone: 4,500.
Her voice cracked as she continued: “There are no tears here. He doesn’t cry once. That boy is in total shock.
“What strikes me is, we shed tears, but there are no tears here. He doesn’t cry once. That boy is in total shock. Inside his home one moment, and the next — lost in the flurry and fury of war and chaos."
The reverberating effect of Omran’s image around the world echoes the reaction to the harrowing image of the toddler Alyan Kurdi’s body lying face down on a Turkish beach. The photo became a symbol of the refugee crisis that has displaced millions in Syria.
But as Bolduan highlights, they are just a few of the hundreds of thousands of children trying to escape persecution with their families.
“At least three people were killed in the bombing in his neighbourhood. This is Omran. He’s alive. We wanted you to know.”
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