Not normally what you’d expect to find when searching for “Iraq” and “Bombing”
After the shocking explosions of the Boston Marathon bombings, this image began to circulate on the internet of two youngIraqi boys holding a sign expressing sympathy for the victims of the bombing that day. Additionally, two more children identified here as Redha & Oma, also from Iraq, expressed concern about the event.
What is particularly interesting about these photos is that the same day of the Boston Marathon bombing occurred is that 33 people were killed and 160 people were wounded from bombing occurring in Iraq. According to this source, the boys were able to sympathize with the violence occurring because suicide bombing and car bombings are a daily occurrence within Iraq.
Perhaps what is most surprising about this story is not that these Iraqi children were compassionate but the realization that Iraqi citizens have to cope with the terror and violence that Boston experienced on April 15, 2013. Frequently, when Iraq violence is mentioned, victims of the brutality are faceless, mere statistics. Even worse graphic pictures of disfigured adults or wounded children are used without making a connection to the reader because savagery is not known to most western readers, who the news stories target. What seemed most shocking about these images was the realization that bombing is a normal occurrence that young children frequently have to endure in Iraq.
The success of this piece in creating a different perspective of Iraq citizens was effective, but varied. People commented on this facebook page expressing both support for the boys and concern if the photos were in fact real due to the same sign being held by another man. While there was a variety of response, most of the comments focused on gratitude for the sympathy, a wish for all wars to end, and a sorrow for the devastation the Iraqi war has specifically caused. After seeing these images, people are left understanding for the shared experience of violence Iraqi citizens go through.