Omran, we can all play together

Published: September 26, 2016

He looks well. Well-dressed, well-fed and well-rested, his face is not covered in the debris of a house demolished by shrapnel. He sits in peace and quiet, not against a backdrop of blood-curdling screams of humans in pain or the earth-shattering sound of rockets hitting targets. His eyes sparkle, not with tears but with hope and promise. His aura reflects confidence that comes from living in a safe home not by living under the real threat of death every day. This is Alex from Scarsdale, New York, the subject of yet another emotionally moving video in which a child attempts to reach out to another human being in pain.

He wrote a letter to President Barack Obama, requesting if he and his family could adopt Omran Daqneesh, the Syrian boy who survived an attack in Aleppo recently. The deplorable state of Omran was enough to melt hearts around the world and Alex’s heart was one of them. However, this one impressionable child managed to do what different countries had not been able to pull off on the floor of the United Nations. He managed to show how much he cared as a human being. He managed to project an image of humanity that is not tarnished with self-interests and vanity.

The President of United States read out this letter in the United Nations in his speech last week during the summit on refugees. Emotions ran high. The video message, in which Alex read out this letter, left no dry eyes in the summit. The sheer sincerity with which the letter was written and read out by Alex, appealed to the humane sensibilities of the world leaders. But did it make a real difference? The European countries still blatantly criticised the German Chancellor for her acceptance of the refugee influx, attributing all terrorist activities to this development.

The Syrian ceasefire is still being violated with the number of children dying, mounting with each passing day. It is with unabashed consistency that the world powers are destroying Syria for their own personal gains. If I daresay, it appears to be a rather dark comedy that is being played out in the battlegrounds of Syria. Sometimes a loaded bag of ammunition is thrown right into the hands of the ISIS by ‘mistake’ or sometimes the humanitarian aid convoy is hit by rockets.

Are we seriously taking this into consideration that responsible countries with adults running their affairs are treating this crisis like a lousy game of catch ball? If this is not sheer stupidity, then it most definitely is a well-thought out game plan which is being carried out by deliberately killing countless innocent people. Either way, even a six-year-old can come up with a better strategy for peace in the world than the grown-ups which are currently trying and failing (probably on purpose, but failing nonetheless).

Whether it is Omran covered in dust and blood, Aylan lying on a beach lifeless or Alex sitting in his room safe and sound, they are all children. They are children who are plainly born without any prejudice or affiliations. No child is born a racist as evidenced by Alex’s act of kindness. This proves how as human beings, we are not so different from each other, regardless of the cast or creed or the religion that we follow. Humanity is not dead…yet. We just have to delve deeper.

Fatima Raza

Fatima Raza

The author is a Biosciences graduate and a student of MPhil International Relations. She aspires to be an accomplished writer someday.

The views expressed by the writer and the reader comments do not necessarily reflect the views and policies of The Express Tribune.