A Picture and Its Story: From Smiles to Tears
Ghazal, 4, (L) and Judy, 7, carrying 8-month-old Suhair, react after what activists said was shelling by forces loyal to Syria's President Bashar al-Assad near the Syrian Arab Red Crescent center in the Douma neighborhood of Damascus May 6, 2015. Bassam Khabieh: I was covering the Red Crescent’s arrival to the area carrying medical aid and supplies used for activities to give psychological support to children affected by the war.
Whenever the aid convoy entered the Eastern Ghouta, children would gather around it, happy that they were going to be supplied with food and medicine. While I was there, the children asked me to take their pictures so they could see them on the camera’s screen. The children gathered around me so I could photograph them. First I took a photo of Ghazal, then her sister Judy who was carrying a baby called Suhair asked me to take a picture of her kissing the baby.
While I was taking these photos, a shell landed on the area. The children started to scream and cry amid the dust and blood around them. The shell killed a female volunteer from the Red Crescent. The children were terrified, especially when they saw the female volunteer covered with blood.
This was the first time I had seen how children's innocent laughter could turn into screams, fear and tears. Seconds before the strike, the children were looking at me happily, getting ready for a picture. It was a very sad moment when I put my eye to the viewfinder to take pictures of laughing children; then when I looked back after taking the picture, I saw the same children crying, distraught. REUTERS/Bassam Khabieh