BEIRUT, Lebanon — In the images, he sits alone, a small boy coated with gray dust and encrusted blood. His little feet barely extend beyond his seat. He stares, bewildered, shocked and, above all, weary, as if channeling the mood of Syria.
The boy, identified by medical workers as Omran Daqneesh, 5, was pulled from a damaged building after a Syrian government or Russian airstrike in the northern city of Aleppo. He was one of 12 children under the age of 15 treated on Wednesday, not a particularly unusual figure, at one of the hospitals in the city’s rebel-held eastern section, according to doctors there.
But some images strike a particular nerve, for reasons both obvious and unknowable, jarring even a public numbed to disaster. Omran’s is one.
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Meme quote source: “Brothers and sisters, never war! Never war! I think mostly of the children, of those who are deprived of the hope for a dignified life, of a future: dead children, wounded children, maimed children, orphaned children, children who have the remnants of war as toys, children who do not know how to smile. Stop, please! I ask you with all my heart. It is time to stop! Stop, please!” Pope Francis, Angelus of July 27, 2014