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What photos of children on a beach should look like…

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Today I received my film from our annual family trip to the beach, which included four rolls filled with images of my two boys (ages 3 and 1) and their cousins running on the sand and swimming in the ocean.

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At the same time I am looking at photos of my three-year-old on the beach, the world is furiously debating a very different photo of a three-year-old boy on the beach: the photograph of Aylan Kurdi’s tiny body in a bright red T-shirt and dark shorts, face-down in the surf.

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Aylan, his 5-year-old brother, Galip, and mother, Rehan, 35, were among 12 people, including other children, who died after two boats capsized while attempting to flee their war-ravaged homeland, Syria.

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To hear the little boys’ father talk about what happened in the ocean and how he tried to save his sons is unbearable. I feel a sadness for him I did not know was possible before having my own kids.

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If there is any comfort that can come to the father of Aylan, hopefully it is that because of the photograph of his three-year-old son dead on the beach, the world is now finally paying attention after:

  • four years of armed conflict
  • 200,000 deaths
  • more than 4 million refugees, mostly women and children,
  • and an estimated 12.2 million people in need of humanitarian assistance inside Syria, including 5.6 million children, according to the UN.

What if the photo of this one sweet boy washed up on the beach can help save the 5.6 million other children who are still living in danger?

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What if everyone who saw that photo of little Aylan on the beach signed a petition to allow more refugees in their country and sent a donation to nonprofits who are on the ground working to help refugees?

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So in honor of Aylan Kurdi, I have signed a petition and sent a donation, because I want to live in a world where the only photos of little boys on the beach look like this…paigegreenBeach09022015-000074240006To learn more about how you can help the migrant crisis please click here: http://www.cnn.com/2015/08/28/world/iyw-migrant-how-to-help/

 

About the author paige green

Paige Green is a documentary and portrait photographer, whose storytelling approach to photography frequently addresses issues involving agriculture, land use, and food. Her work is featured in nine books and has been published in Glamour, National Geographic Traveler, New York Times Magazine, Conde Nast Traveler, GQ, Country Living, House Beautiful, and Culture. Paige lives in Petaluma, CA with a house full of boys.

All posts by paige green →

2 Comments

  1. Bless you. This is the best article I’ve read all year.

    Reply

  2. Once again your taking action has encouraged me to donate too. I hope it will encourage all of our friends to take action too.

    Reply

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