The campaign Syrian activists launched in solidarity with the Syrian baby boy Karim on social media has gone viral inside Syria and around the world. The campaign calls for putting an end to the crimes the Assad regime forces are committing against civilians in the Damascus suburb of eastern Ghouta.
The three-month-old child, known only by his first name, Karim, lost his left eye and suffered wounds to his skull in a brutal bombardment by regime forces on the besieged eastern Ghouta in November. Karim’s mother was killed in the same attack.
Lebanese Prime Minister Saad Hariri on Thursday took up the cause of the war-wounded baby boy, tweeting a photo of himself with his hand covering his eye.
The campaign reached as far as UN headquarters in New York on Tuesday, when the UK’s permanent representative Matthew Rycroft mentioned Karim during a session of the Security Council.
“We must stand in solidarity with Karim,” Rycroft said, calling for an end to the bombardment of the eastern Ghouta.
“When we sit around the UNSC and warn that inaction will mean more people are going to die. More schools bombed. More children scarred. This is what we mean. We must see an end to the bombardment and siege of eastern Ghouta,” Rycroft wrote on Twitter.
French footballer Franck Ribery also joined the campaign to demonstrate solidarity with Karim as he published a photo of himself on his Instagram account with his hand covering his eye. Wife of the Bayern Munich star also participated in the campaign.
Karim’s story has also caught the attention of politicians, journalists and activists form around the world.
Staff at the German newspaper Bild took a group photo to “make a statement” about the plight of Syrian children. “What we have done is just a helpless gesture. Bashar al-Assad is besieging the area, preventing the entry of food and medicine. Sick and wounded children are rarely allowed to leave, while few charities are trying to bring relief aid into the besieged area,” said one of the paper’s staffers. “We must support the solidarity campaign to tell Syrians that we in the Bild newspaper did not forget them.”
Moreover, staff of the Turkish Anadolu news agency on Wednesday held a demonstration in support of the Syrian infant in front of the headquarters of the news agency in the Turkish capital Ankara. They held a big portrait of two-month-old Karim and expressed solidarity by clasping their left eye shut with their hand.
At least 12 children have died of malnutrition in eastern Ghouta over the past six months. According to medical sources in the area, 195 children are threatened with imminent death due to the spread of chronic such as rickets, hepatitis, tuberculosis and lack of necessary vaccines. (Source: Syrian Coalition’s Media Department)