I’ve been thinking about this boy a lot lately. I met him in Salahdeen, a neighborhood in Aleppo. Behind him in the picture is a curtain the community have hung across the street and countless streets like it. On one side, they live. On the other side, there are snipers. It provides some protection, but its not perfect. They’re all targets, armed or not.
We named this boy, Bob. its not his real name. I am ashamed to say that I dont know his name. He didnt say much, and what he did say, we never understood.
There was one thing though, something I will remember for as long as i live. “bob” followed us, sans invitation. Just tagged along.
We came to a mosque, while we were inside, a jet flew over.
I have never known fear like that before, not even on the frontline. Kids around us, and adults alike were running for the nearest exit. Just running. Blind.
I froze, stood clutching this wooden cabinet as though convincing myself that it could somehow protect me against rockets or a several hundred pound bomb. I could not move. It was seconds as that jet screamed past, but it might as well have been a life time.
The only person who was not running, or looking up at the sky was, “Bob”. As I stood clutching a cabinet made for holding the shoes of those whom choose to pray at this mosque expecting that it would save me, my boots firmly planted in one spot. “Bob”, just stood there looking at me.
I dont understand what I saw. He wasnt fearless, it wasnt courage.
If I was him, the first person I would run for would be my mother. It was almost immediate, taking in the situation, and my surrounding, wondering, how much had this child seen? endured?
So much that the fear of possible death no longer bothered him.
it bothered me. paralyzed me.
I dont understand war, iv seen it, its not …like the movies.
thinking about him, all I can do is wonder and contemplate what a terrible price to pay to be robbed of a childhood and a future at the same time. to endure for what will be its third year in Syria. anywhere. One day is too much.
I learned something that day, that will shape my life and career, forever.
People, the public, us, we want to see frontlines and and muzzle flare, but we forget about the civilians. Kids. I cant help but think that maybe if politicians thought more, and more people around the world cared, that that boy, “Bob”, would have been scared. A part of me wishes he was.
He spent the rest of the afternoon with us, walking through Salahdeen down to Zarzour. He didnt flinch in front of the hospital there. Wasnt in awe of bombed out apartment blocks.
He hopped in a minibus with us, drove across half the city, where was his mother. Then, just got out, smiled, and he was gone.
The above post was written by Ryan Jacobs, a mate of mine who has just returned home from Syria, photographing all the tragedy that has struck the war-ridden country. Now don’t get me wrong, we may have some issues down this side of the world, just like every other country, but after reading this story, it made me think and realise how lucky we actually are! The photos below have been taken in three different countries, Syria, Libya and Palestine, each in its own state of war all shot by Ryan himself. It is a serious eye opener.
Some of the pictures have been captioned by Ryan himself, giving you a deeper understanding of what’s going on in each image.
The main thing I want to get across from this blog post is, don’t take anything for granted! Accept what you have and cherish it, love the people around you because life is too short for anything else. War is not the answer! Unfortunately it happens, but luckily guys like Ryan are here to help to spread this message to where it is really needed – places like the country we live in, where things like this do not happen.
Be safe dude!