While the photo of a dead Syrian boy has grabbed the attention of the world, a Syrian man living in Regina says it fails to show the big picture of what’s happening to people in his home country.
“The people of the world saw this picture — horrific as it is — but I think they also, they need to know that in the last month only, 302 children were killed by the Syrian forces – 302,” said Dr. Ayman Aboguddah. “Every morning, every day, and sometimes some nights, the Syrian helicopter of the Syrian army, they are … dropping explosive barrels on civilian areas and killing families.”
Aboguddah says 17,268 children have been killed in this way since Syrians first began protesting in Damascus in March 2011.
Aboguddah physically left Syria in 1978, but the Regina doctor says his home country has never left his heart.
Aboguddah has been unable to connect with his own family who are still in Syria, but knows some have fled the country to find safety in Turkey where millions of people are living in refugee camps.
His own family members who have fled Syria are teachers and engineers — once well-to-do Syrians who now are struggling and need help.
Aboguddah says Canada is in a prime position to spearhead an effort to help Syrian people, because the country is known for its humanitarianism. However, he says he feels the current government hasn’t done nearly as much as it could have.
“We definitely should do more and can do more,” said Aboguddah.
“We definitely should do more and can do more,” said Dr. Ayman Aboguddah.
He fears that the picture of a Syrian boy’s body washed up on the shore in Turkey will be forgotten like so many other pictures of the crisis. However, Aboguddah says Canadians can put pressure on politicians to take action, so that sacrifices like that of the boy who drowned aren’t lost.
“I think we shouldn’t really lose the Canadian values. Maybe it’s easier sometimes not to edge into any quarrel or dispute or fight between people but there is a limit of what you can ignore. And I think that this picture, if anything comes out of this picture, that people should wake up and feel, heart to heart, people are the same anywhere in the world and it’s time to do something.”