Moving portrait of Syrian infant grabs world attention

Syrian artist talks to Anadolu Agency about his picture of 2-month-old Karim, a boy hurt in Assad regime attack

Moving portrait of Syrian infant grabs world attention

By Kerem Kocalar


A black-and-white portrait of a Syrian infant who lost his mother and left eye in the besieged Eastern Ghouta suburb of Damascus last month had drawn the attention of people on social media across the world.

Syrian amateur painter Fares Jasem, who took refuge in Turkey’s southeastern Gaziantep province, has drawn the portrait of Karim, a two-month-old boy, from a different perspective.

"I looked at the photo of Karim and examined the wounds on his face. I saw the eye he lost and I told myself after looking at the photo: ‘Only a rose suits the face of a baby, not injury,’" Jasem, a father of two children himself, told Anadolu Agency.

In Jasem’s portrait, Karim is depicted with a leaf in the eye he lost and a rose instead of an injury on his head.

Karim -- who also suffered the injuries in a regime attack last month -- has become a symbol of resistance against Bashar al-Assad's regime.

Jasem, who also drew a portrait of Aylan Kurdi, the three-year-old Syrian boy who made headlines around the world after drowning in the Mediterranean Sea, said he did not expect such attention while drawing the portrait.

“I did not expect such a response, but it was important to show the condition of this baby to the world,” Jasem said.

The Syrian artist said the next step of treatment for the baby would be vital.

“How will this baby be taken from there? Who will treat him? I think it is the most important question right now. Will any state abroad cover surgery or treatment expenses?”

“This should be the most important question be for all of us,” he added.

Twitter users across the world also posted their pictures with their hand clasping their left eye shut, in solidarity with Karim.

“#BabyKarim I see you” and "#EasternGhouta siege must end,” became Twitter trends on Monday.

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