Syrian girl ‘surrenders’

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Hudea

Osman Sagirli, who recounted how he had taken the image of the four-year-old girl, Hudea, at the Atmeh refugee camp in Syria in December 2014.

Sagirli said Hudea, her mother and two siblings had travelled about 150 kilometres from their home in Hama in Syria to the refugee camp, which is close to the border with Turkey.

“I was using a telephoto lens, and she thought it was a weapon,”  – Sagirli.

“I realised she was terrified after I took it, and looked at the picture, because she bit her lips and raised her hands. Normally kids run away, hide their faces or smile when they see a camera. “

“You know there are displaced people in the camps. It makes more sense to see what they have suffered not through adults, but through children. It is the children who reflect the feelings with their innocence.”

The photograph of Hudea was first published in January 2015 in the Turkish newspaper «Türkiye».

At that time it was shared widely among Turkish-speaking social media users, but it was only when Shaban tweeted the photograph that it was exposed to an English-speaking audience.

“I was using a telephoto lens, and she thought it was a weapon,” says Sağırlı. “İ realised she was terrified after I took it, and looked at the picture, because she bit her lips and raised her hands. Normally kids run away, hide their faces or smile when they see a camera.” He says he finds pictures of children in the camps particularly revealing. “You know there are displaced people in the camps. It makes more sense to see what they have suffered not through adults, but through children. It is the children who reflect the feelings with their innocence.” – Osman Sagirli.

It began to go viral Tuesday in March 2015, when it was tweeted by Nadia Abu Shaban, a photojournalist based in Gaza. The image quickly spread across the social network. “I’m actually weeping”, “unbelievably sad”, and “humanity failed”, the comments read.Hudea

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