‘Face of Aleppo’ Omran Daqneesh reunited with parents

The little boy who became the face of Syria’s suffering after a video of his bloodied face went viral has been reunited with his parents.

The video showed Omran Daqneesh sitting dazed in the back of an ambulance, having just been pulled from the rubble of his home after an air strike in Aleppo.

The nurse who treated Omran told the ABC network the boy did not cry as he was being treated, describing him being “in shock”.

“He didn’t say anything expect to ask for his parents,” Abu Rajab from the Syrian American Medical Society said.

“They arrived shortly after, in a second wave of people.

“Only then once Omran saw them did he start crying.”

Omran’s parents told medical staff they would not speak for fear of reprisal from forces allied to the regime of President Bashar al Assad.

The photos and video of Omran were taken on Wednesday night in the besieged rebel-held eastern suburbs of Aleppo.

Doctors say Omran had head wounds and was discharged from the M10 hospital.

Video taken by the Aleppo Media Centre showed the moment Omran was rescued along with three other small children from the rubble of a house after an air strike, by volunteers from Syria’s Civil Defence group known as the White Helmets.

Doctors told the ABC he was brought in to the hospital by four young men.

Rescue workers and journalists arrived at Qaterji shortly after the strike and began pulling victims from the rubble. “We were passing them from one balcony to the other”, said photojournalist Mahmoud Raslan, who took the photo. He said he had passed along three lifeless bodies before receiving the wounded boy.

The strike occurred during the sunset call to prayer, around 7:20pm said Raslan, a correspondent for Al Jazeera Mubashir.

In the video posted by the Aleppo Media Centre, a man is seen plucking the boy away from a chaotic nighttime scene and carrying him inside the ambulance, looking dazed and flat-eyed. The boy then runs his hand over his blood-covered face, looks at his hands and wipes them on the ambulance chair.

The horror generated by the image of Omran in the orange chair echoes the anguished global response to the pictures of Aylan Kurdi, the drowned Syrian boy whose body was found on a beach in Turkey and came to encapsulate the horrific toll of Syria’s civil war.

Meanwhile, the UN special envoy to Syria said not a single aid convoy had reached besieged areas in the past month.

Staffan de Mistura said he abandoned a humanitarian aid meeting within eight minutes after realising all sides were unwilling to change their ways


Lifestyle

My sister Gabriella always says that during sibling whispers all I ever wanted was to be on stage.This Much I Know: Man of many talents Mike Hanrahan

Columnist and trained counsellor Fiona Caine offers guidance to a woman whose husband is controlling and belittling her.Ask a counsellor: ‘My husband is so controlling – what do I do?’

Peter Dowdall branches out to take a look at the mountain ash or rowan.Rowan berries show us how nature is stocking its larder for winter

More From The Irish Examiner