Heartwrenching: 4-year-old Syrian girl thinks camera is weapon, 'surrenders' to photographer

Published: March 30, 2015
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Four-year-old Syrian boy Adi Hudea poses, arms raised in surrender, after mistaking a camera for a gun. PHOTO: Osman Sağırlı

Four-year-old Syrian boy Adi Hudea poses, arms raised in surrender, after mistaking a camera for a gun. PHOTO: Osman Sağırlı

After years of civil war, it’s not surprising that a four-year-old Syrian child assumed a photojournalist’s camera was a weapon and surrendered.

The image, believed to have been taken in 2012 by photojournalist Osman Sağırlı, was recently tweeted by Palestinian Nadia Abu Shaban and has earned more than 12,000 retweets over the last week.

The original publication identifies the child as four-year-old Syrian girl Adi Hudea.

“Her name is Hudea… She is only 4 years old. She lost her dad in the bombing of Hama. She took refuge at the Atme camp at the Turkish border with her mom and three siblings,” the caption reads.

The photo, which has captured the hearts of thousands of Twitter users, paints a heartbreaking image of the everyday situation faced by children caught up in Syria’s ongoing civil war.

The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) says that since March 2011, when the Syrian civil war began, about 10 million Syrians are displaced.

The article originally appeared on Buzzfeed.

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Reader Comments (30)

  • Mahira
    Mar 30, 2015 - 11:58PM

    Oh God! What a heart wrenching photograph! Wish no child had to see war or face it’s consequences..may Allah’s mercy be on all humanity..Ameen. Recommend

  • Osama
    Mar 31, 2015 - 12:51AM

    almost made me cry, the fear can be clearly seen on this little angel`s face,Recommend

  • wb
    Mar 31, 2015 - 4:27AM

    This is what Muslim countries give to their future generation: wars and violence.Recommend

  • Qasim
    Mar 31, 2015 - 6:58AM

    When George Bush announced this policy of redrawing the middle-east map, they didn’t care at all about the human cost.

    Israel’s entire neighborhood has been destabilized, strengthening their foothold.Recommend

  • JSM
    Mar 31, 2015 - 7:59AM

    @Qasim:
    When you create countries based on religion, this is what happens. Israel and Pakistan are two such countries. Look at what is happening around them. Recommend

  • ajeet
    Mar 31, 2015 - 8:40AM

    Thank god not all countries are muslim majority Recommend

  • Vegetable Man
    Mar 31, 2015 - 9:18AM

    Well, he wont be the first or the last Arab to make this mistake, if i can remember correctly, the Iraqi Army surrendered to CNN in the first Gulf War….Recommend

  • anonymous
    Mar 31, 2015 - 9:45AM

    Better check your source as she is a girl and not a boy.

    http://www.bbc.com/news/blogs-trending-32121732 Recommend

  • Mr. No B-shit
    Mar 31, 2015 - 10:09AM

    Most of The ME countries were a lot better before US & NATO, there is nothing clearer than the fact that everything here is their fault.Recommend

  • Mar 31, 2015 - 10:29AM

    The Arabs had everything and yet they have reduced their countries to ashes. This is heart-rending indeed.Recommend

  • Moosa
    Mar 31, 2015 - 11:06AM

    This photo is enough to melt a billion hearts!!!Recommend

  • kulwant singh
    Mar 31, 2015 - 4:07PM

    God please help the poor innocent people, save humanity. Recommend

  • oBSERVER
    Mar 31, 2015 - 4:34PM

    @JSM:
    What a silly analogy! This happens when countries founded on racism interfere in countries not created on racism. You seem to be living in a country where racism still persists. My sympathies. Most such racists live in the west.Recommend

  • oBSERVER
    Mar 31, 2015 - 4:34PM

    @JSM:
    What a silly analogy! This happens when countries founded on racism interfere in countries not created on racism. You seem to be living in a country where racism still persists. My sympathies. Most such racists live in the west.Recommend

  • Afaaq
    Mar 31, 2015 - 4:46PM

    This is actually a girl and the picture is 3 years old. Try doing some research instead of copying and pasting news articles. Recommend

  • prashanth
    Mar 31, 2015 - 4:46PM

    pls pls……………………… save this child Recommend

  • woody
    Mar 31, 2015 - 6:15PM

    @Qasim: What does George Bush have to do with Syria? Assad is a bad guy who has no problem slaughtering his own people – no different than his father. Looking for bad guys – start with Assad.Recommend

  • Parvez
    Apr 1, 2015 - 12:39AM

    This has to be the most moving photograph I seen in a long , long time. Recommend

  • Brittney
    Apr 1, 2015 - 5:18AM

    This picture is of a girl and it’s at least two or three years old.. Recommend

  • Aaha
    Apr 1, 2015 - 9:32AM

    shame, shame, shame Recommend

  • Hella
    Apr 1, 2015 - 10:35PM

    @oBSERVER, ultimately all discrimination whether on the basis of race, religion, gender, wealth, power leads to violence and bloodshed. The West used to discriminate on the basis of race but it is illegal to do so now. Sadly in Muslim countries discrimination on the basis of religious/sectarian identity is the norm and is even supported by the law. In fact in Muslim countries, including Pakistan, it is illegal to not discriminate on the basis of religious/sectarian identity.Recommend

  • Pekka
    Apr 2, 2015 - 3:50AM

    This picture is taken only 5 months ago in Dec 2014. The photographer’s interview can an be found easily. You guys blaming islam or GW Bush or Israel or Assad or whomever are part of the problem, not the solutions. It is your hatemongering that is the ultimate cause for this little girl’s and her family’s plight. Instead of causing more hatred and misery in this world, do as I did: Go find your local charity organization that helps children in Syrian refugee camps and donate money for their food, medical supplies and education. Do it now! Or be silent. Please.Recommend

  • Diana Hartsfield
    Apr 2, 2015 - 5:55AM

    I can’t believe you all are arguing on whose fault it is that this child faces the terror and fear she does today when you should be hoping that this never happens to any child ever again. Tonight, or whenever you have the time, reflect on all the children you know and (if you are religious) pray that no child ever has to go through the terror of war and hatred that results from the greed of the leading minority. I know I will. Recommend

  • av
    Apr 4, 2015 - 8:11PM

    @wb:
    This is what america gives: Violence. Terrorism and death. Congratulation!Recommend

  • duna
    Apr 5, 2015 - 2:41AM

    @av:
    Actually this is what Vladimir Putin has to offer to the world. If it wasn’t for him supporting Assad all this years, the Syrian regime had been ousted already in 2011 like what happened in all other Arab spring countries. Gongratulations Russia. Nicely done. Once again.Recommend

  • JSM
    Apr 5, 2015 - 2:11PM

    @duna:
    Why blame Putin-he has his national agenda. Why the society which throws up such leaders should not take the blame? Recommend

  • duna
    Apr 6, 2015 - 10:17PM

    @JSM:
    Because if there is someone to blame, it is Vladimir Putin. Of course the russian society could be blamed, too, but in Russia Putin controls all the media and he is the one person that is most responsible. Recommend

  • JSM
    Apr 7, 2015 - 7:14AM

    I am not talking about Russia or Russians choosing Putin to lead them. I am talking of countries in middle-east who have chosen leaders who have kept their states in a situation of permanent conflict and chaos. The societies there have to take the blame for having chosen such leaders. Blaming Americans or Russians will not solve theei problems. Recommend

  • duna
    Apr 10, 2015 - 5:57PM

    @JSM:
    JSM, you are not getting it. The Syrians have not chosen Assad. On the contrary, they chose to throw him out, but since Assad is a Russia’s puppet, Putin hasn’t let him go. In practise Syria is Russia’s colony and it’s people victims of Russian imperialism. Including little Adi Hudea.Recommend

  • JSM
    Apr 10, 2015 - 10:12PM

    @duna:
    Point made is appreciated. It is a sad situation.Recommend

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