For most of us who live sheltered lives far away from civilian war zones – be it within the country or without – it would be difficult to even fathom an existence where there’s no guarantee of life. Where bombs, incessant firing, chemical weapons or even pellet guns are a part of one’s daily life. That is the existence of a majority of the people around the world. That is what living in Syria is all about.
Recently the images of Syrian photo-journalist and social activist Abd Alkader Habak who is currently reporting from ground zero have gone viral for reasons that are heartrending. The reporter was in Rashidin, in west Aleppo where civilian evacuation was underway. According to reports in The Telegraph, children from the convoy were enticed away from their buses to a car where a bomb was detonated. Approximately 126 people died in the attack, which included 80 or more children.
Talking to CNN, Habak spoke about why he put down his camera to help with the rescue work. “The scene was horrible, especially seeing children wailing and dying in front of you,” he said. Habak ran forward to help, despite several asking him to stay put. The children were already dead, they claimed. Running from child to child, to check for someone still fighting to survive, Habak came upon a 6 or 7 year-old boy. Picking him up, he ran towards the nearest ambulance, away from the line of fire.
— Mohamed El Dahshan (@eldahshan) April 17, 2017
As he did, another war photo-journalist on the scene, Muhammad Alrageb grabbed the image which has since gone viral. Talking to CNN about why he wanted to capture this moment, Alrageb said: “I wanted to film everything to make sure there was accountability. I feel proud that there was a young journalist there helping save lives.”
Alrageb reportedly jumped in to the rescue some lives as well.
After dropping off the first boy with the medics, Habak ran back to the bombing scene to rescue more. The child he came across next, was charred. Unable to hold it together anymore, Habak broke down. He sat by the body of the little boy and sobbed.
— Donie O’Sullivan (@donie) April 17, 2017
Talking about the incident, Habak also took to his Twitter account:
What I and my colleagues have done today is what inspires our humanity to those who were partners in killing the children of #Khan_Sheikhan
— Abd Alkader Habak (@AbdHabak) April 15, 2017
There are no reports as yet about the whether or not the child Habak rescued survived.