The horrors of Syria: out of sight, out of mind

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  • War children: injured boys at a field hospital after air strikes on the rebel-held areas of Aleppo (REUTERS/Abdalrhman Ismail)

    War children: injured boys at a field hospital after air strikes on the rebel-held areas of Aleppo (REUTERS/Abdalrhman Ismail)


Much of the world seems to have taken the view that the tragic devastation taking place in a place called Aleppo, in Syria, is some distant horror story that is best handled by that old saying: “Out of sight, out of mind.”

Decades ago, that was not too difficult to do, since modern communication technology did not exist to put pictures and sound in any home worldwide within seconds of a major event.

Of course, much of the world is quite familiar with the mass suffering of men, women and children who happen to be residents in an area under brutal military encounters on a daily basis, with victims that include children of all ages.

The international press have a daunting task trying to relay to the world a story of death and destruction. Without any sign of peace, one observer described Aleppo as fast becoming a huge graveyard, where people go to die daily.

This may not be the time of the year to focus on such suffering, especially since it involves children trapped in a nightmare war between Syrian government forces and rebels who are opposed to dictatorial rule.

The situation has international implications, with the Russians supporting the Government; while America has been engaged as military adviser to the rebels in what seems to be endless suffering for so many innocent people.

At least 200,000 people are still in Aleppo, although many carrying their few belongings decided to risk being caught in crossfire to seek refuge, where food and medical help might give them hope for a better life.

For some children, it was a case of too little, too late. News cameras captured one child dying of hunger and staring into space, as a mother could only watch with a feeling the world had abandoned them. It was a scene probably taking place in various parts of the ravaged city, often with that “out of sight, out of mind” reaction from too many around the world.

It is a conflict that has strained diplomatic relations between the United States and Russia to the point where even the United Nations seems powerless in trying to find a solution to a shameful trail of what happens when a dictator clings to power, assisted by a powerful nation such as Russia.

As Bermuda, along with many countries, prepares to celebrate the biggest festival on the calendar, every family should pause for a moment to reflect on the tragedy unfolding in Aleppo, where thousands, including children, await the next bombing and yet more victims.

Ironically, we have astronauts on a space station orbiting Earth with some of the most advanced technology in the world of science. High above Earth, the planet looks quite peaceful. However, even they know that beneath cloud formations, many stories are unfolding in the drama of life.

The story of suffering children should never be one of those “out of sight, out of mind” chapters in life. The world needs to speak with a louder voice in condemning any dictatorial regime that deprives people of the freedom to live in peace and dignity.

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Published Dec 3, 2016 at 8:00 am (Updated Dec 3, 2016 at 12:43 am)

The horrors of Syria: out of sight, out of mind

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