Syrian girl surrenders to photographer mistaken for killer

Wednesday April 1 2015

Adi Hudea surrenders to Turkish photojournalist Osman Sagirli

Adi Hudea surrenders to Turkish photojournalist Osman Sagirli after mistaking his camera for a gun in this photo taken in 2014. PHOTO | OSMAN SAGIRLI  

By MARYANNE GICOBI
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A photo of a little Syrian girl who ‘surrendered’ when a photographer pointed a camera at her, thinking it was a gun, has taken the social media by storm.

In the photo, the four-year-old girl identified as Adi Hudea has raised her hands, bitten her lips and stares at the camera with teary eyes, depicting resignation to fate.

The photo was taken by a Turkish photojournalist, Osman Sagirli, back in 2012 but his colleague tweeted it to his followers recently.

The image has been shared more than 10,000 times.

BBC Trending, who spoke to the photojournalist, say the girl lost her father in a bombing in Hama.

The photo was taken at Atmen Camp on the Turkisk border where Adi, her three brothers and a sister are now refugees.

Sagirli, who took the photo, told BBC Trending: "I was using a telephoto lens, and she thought it was a weapon."

He added: "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."

The photo has prompted emotional responses as it shows how deep the conflict in Syria is, with the children being accustomed to war and summary executions.

Daphe on Twitter said "so sad" and Marcus Welsh tweeted "heart-breaking".

A social media user, Margaret Tonner, wrote on Facebook: “So sad, how many times has she seen that for real to know to put her hand up?”

Syria, where the photo was taken, is considered by the United Nations as one of the worst humanitarian disasters in the world. 

According to the estimates, the civil war has left 220,000 people dead in a span of five tears and currently, at total of 5.6 million children are considered to be in distress due to the war.