“One photo that tells everything about Syria”: This is the picture of the year for 2021
Turkish photographer Mehmet Aslan documents a Syrian refugee who lost his leg in a bombing in the Civil War – lifting his son born without limbs in the air • “Hope the picture will help ease the treatment of refugees in Turkey”

Under the heading “Difficulties of life”: The photo that won the Picture of the Year award for 2021 in the international competition “Siena” shows a Syrian father named Monzir, who lost his right leg in a bombing in Idlib, Syria, holding his limb son Mustafa. In a photo taken in the Turkish Tai rope, Monzir can be seen placing his foot on a crutch while lifting his son, who is smiling at him, in the air.

The photo tries to illustrate the story of a Syrian family in the days of a bloody civil war. After fleeing Idlib, family members moved to southern Turkey near the Syrian border and tried to obtain dentures for Mustafa. The young child was born with a rare congenital syndrome called tetra-Emilia, which is characterized by the absence of all four limbs.

“The congenital disorder was caused to him as a result of the medication his mother had to take when she recovered from nerve gas released towards her during the war in Syria,” the Siena competition website said. The Washington Post quoted the mother as explaining the picture that came into the world: “For years we have been trying to make our voices heard for anyone who will listen and can help take care of our son. We would give anything to give him a better life.”

Mehmet Aslan, the Turkish photographer responsible for the documentation, first met the family at the store where she lived in southern Turkey. The image he took moved many people around the world through the powerful message it conveys. The head of the bureau in Washington of the Turkish news agency Anadolu tweeted that it was “one photo that tells everything about Syria.”

“Hopefully this will help ease the treatment of refugees in Turkey”

In an interview with the Washington Post, Aslan said it was important for him to draw global attention to the refugee crisis. “I hope the photo will highlight the family’s journey for Mustafa and also help ease the reactions in Turkey against the refugee immigrants.”

The photographer said Monzir lost his right leg in the bombing while in a market in Syria. His wife, who was pregnant, inhaled nerve gas following the bombing, and was forced to take medication that harmed the pregnancy and caused Mustafa to be born without arms and legs. Later, the family left their home in Idlib in northwestern Syria and moved to a store on the Turkish border. The family did flee the inferno, but the struggle is not over and Mustafa’s father, Monzir, continues to wander from place to place until his son has prosthetic legs.

By Editor

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