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His Name is Omran

by Anthony Bontrager on August 22, 2016

“How can you say that you’re not responsible?

What does it have to do with me?”

Driven to Tears, The Police

Omran Daqneesh

Note:  This is a little off topic of my usual blog posts dealing with media and technology, but like I noted in my previous post Armageddon’s Children, our children are bearing the brunt of the failures of our world society.


He’s just a little boy…

Last week, the world was once again confronted by images of a child being plucked from a bombed out apartment building. This time, it was 5 year-old Omran Daqneesh of Syria. Dazed and bloodied, the heart-wrenching images of Omran sitting in the back of an ambulance travelled the globe, catching fire across international news services and throughout social media circles.

The responses were appropriately swift, as our better angels surged forward to denounce this senseless atrocity and renewed calls for support of the families caught in the crossfire of Syria’s growing civil war. Indeed, Omran quickly became another poster child for our white hot, yet all too brief outrage.

And I mean, All Too Brief

While Omran was the darling of news circles and social media rants last week, we are now “back to our regularly scheduled programming.” Headlines such as: Speedo, Ralph Lauren End Endorsement of Ryan Lochte – AdAge; Wind Blows American Boaters Into Canada – BBC; Trump Tries Tricky Dismount On Immigration – Fox News, now dominate our news feeds, along with follow-up stories to the Olympics.

But what of this little boy Omran?

It seems our short attention spans, married with a growing acceptance of global violence, have relegated the story of Omran and others like him to the editorial section or worse, to be simply forgotten.  After all, what does it really have to do with us?

As a parent…  No, as a human being, this is unacceptable.

We must remember. Remember the images of Omran. Remember that his story didn’t have a happy ending as his older brother died of his wounds the day after Omran was rescued. Remember that he’s just a little boy who went to bed one warm August night. A boy who believed he was safe in his home and likely dreaming of playing the next day, only to be woken in the dead of night to destruction and confusion.  Remember that we wanted to do better for Omran and our global society.

You see, for Omran the story isn’t over. It’s just beginning.


He’s only a little boy after all…


How can you say that you’re not responsible?

What does it have to do with me?

What is my reaction, what should it be?

Confronted by this latest atrocity.


Driven to tears


Hide my face in my hands,

Shame wells in my throat.

My comfortable existence is reduced to a shallow meaningless party.

Seems that when some innocent die

All we can offer them is a page in some magazine.

Too many cameras and not enough food,

‘Cos this is what we’ve seen.


Driven to tears


Protest is futile.

Nothing seems to get through.

What’s to become of our world?

Who knows what to do?


Driven to tears

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