There’s always one or two news images that stand out each year. When we look back on 2016, I’m sure we’ll remember Donald Trump, the faces of hate at his rallies, maybe the devastation in Louisiana after the floods… but I have a feeling this photograph of a little boy pulled from the rubble of his home in Aleppo, will be an enduring image that will haunt us for generations. I nominate it for picture of the year. Give it the Pulitzer now. Hell, maybe even the Nobel Prize for Journalism. Has any image ever so perfectly summed up the horror of war?
From The Guardian:
A photograph of a boy sitting dazed and bloodied in the back of an ambulance after surviving a regime airstrike in Aleppo has highlighted the desperation of the Syrian civil war and the struggle for control of the city.
The child has been identified as five-year-old Omran Daqneesh, who was injured late on Wednesday in a military strike on the rebel-held Qaterji neighborhood.
The startling image shows him covered head to toe with dust and so disoriented that he seems barely aware of an open wound on his forehead. He was taken to a hospital known as M10 and later discharged.
Rescue workers and journalists arrived in Qaterji shortly after the strike and began pulling victims from the rubble. “We were passing them from one balcony to the other,” said Mahmoud Raslan, a photojournalist who captured the footage. He told the Associated Press he had passed along three lifeless bodies before receiving the wounded boy.
Omran was rescued with his three siblings, aged one, six, and 11, and his mother and father, according to Raslan. None sustained major injuries, but their apartment building collapsed shortly after the family was rescued.
“We sent the younger children immediately to the ambulance, but the 11-year-old girl waited for her mother to be rescued. Her ankle was pinned beneath the rubble,” Raslan said.
A doctor at M10 said eight people had died in the airstrike, including five children.
Watch the video of his rescue below, but – warning – have some tissues ready.
Photograph: Aleppo Media Centre