Syrian refugees -terrified little girls surrender to the camera

Syria, Jordan – Two different photos, two different heart-rending incidents of little girls in Syrian refugee camps who were so terrified that they thought the photographers’ telephoto lenses were guns…so they put their hands up in surrender. One photo was taken by Red Cross worker Rene Schulthoff in November 2014, and the other by Turkish Photographer Osman Sagirli in December.

Adi Hudea, a Syrian refugee – Photo by Osman Sagirli


A childhood of fear

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The fear in their eyes reveals a lot about what children- particularly little girls- caught up in the ugly violence of Syria and Iraq must be feeling. Having to be taught to raise your arms in surrender, being afraid that every moment could be the last…they never experience what it’s like to be children.

This original story is posted at UncleSamsMisguidedChildren

“I was using a telephoto lens, and she thought it was a weapon. I realised she was terrified after I took it, and looked at the picture, because she bit her lips and raised her hands. Normally kids run away, hide their faces or smile when they see a camera…You know there are displaced people in the camps. It makes more sense to see what they have suffered not through adults, but through children. It is the children who reflect the feelings with their innocence.” Osman Sagirli

Sagirli’s photo was taken at Atmeh Refugee Camp in Syria, and went viral in the United States just last week. It was first published in Turkey in January.

syrian refugees
A little girl surrenders to the camera because she thinks it’s a gun – Photo by Rene Schulthoff

 Jordanian Refugee Camp

Rene Schulthoff  is a Red Cross Aid worker who was at the Azraq Refugee Camp in Jordan, when he took the picture of the weeping little girl who surrendered to his camera. The camp holds about 17,000 Syrian refugees.

“I had tears in my eyes when I saw her like that on my computer. I was shocked by her reaction, the fear and seeing her crying… It is a tragedy for this young generation…Instead of playing with friends, they grow up in permanent fear under extremely poor conditions missing almost everything. A childhood of pain tears and sadness… They miss a peaceful happy childhood, kindergartens, education and what they learn currently is that life is pure horror.” Rene Schulthoff

ISIS, Al-Qaeda, the different groups of radical Muslims, have left the lives of  hundreds of thousands in ruins. It is the littlest of humans that have been robbed so deeply that even a camera evokes terror.


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