A video captured the world’s attention last week. A four year old boy named Omran was filmed immediately after being rescued from a bombing in Aleppo. His family’s home was leveled, and his older brother was killed. Omran stared into space after being rescued, likely in shock. And just like little Alyan, whose drowning as his family attempted to flee Syria captured our attention this time last year, Omran’s face and innocence are a reminder of what children in Syria are experiencing every single day.
It is easy to become desensitized by stories such as this. We are bombarded every day with accounts of disaster, tragedy and crises, intermingled with a constant barrage of political commentary and discourse. But when an image comes across like this, it’s very difficult for most of us to ignore it. He is an innocent little boy who has only known an Aleppo ravaged by war. His face was void of emotion, he didn’t cry. His family was forever changed by this tragedy. Some may wonder why people feel the need to flee Syria, but when you look at the video footage of Omran, it’s easy to understand why so many have made the perilous journey across the sea, risking their lives as they focus on the slight hope that the life on the other side of the sea will be somewhat better for their family.
I’ll never forget reading the background on one of the first Syrian families LSG resettled this past spring. We had been eagerly anticipating the day when we would be able to resettle a Syrian family, and that first notice of travel was met with excitement by our staff. As I read the background information, my eyes stopped where the paper stated the city that they fled: Aleppo. I paused for a moment to think about what this family had experienced. This city in northern Syria has been the site of some of the most violent fighting and bombings. Countless innocent people have died and so many have fled for their lives, clinging to the hope that somewhere things are better. I can’t even fathom having to make such a choice for my family.
I hope we do not forget Aleppo and its children. I hope that we do not forget the millions of Syrians who have fled violence and are seeking a new future. LSG has resettled quite a few Syrian families over the past few months, and they are incredible people. They are eager to work and provide for their families, and are so grateful for the opportunity to be here in the United States. We would love for you to join us in welcoming these amazing families. We have several families coming in September to both our Atlanta and Savannah offices. Our families love to make new friends in the United States and we are always looking for volunteers to help us welcome these families.
Links for Omran’s story: