No one video can sum up the horror of the brutal civil war in Syria though the footage of a pre-school boy, Omran Daqneesh being pulled from the rubble in Aleppo in August last year went viral on social media causing massive outcry world wide calling for an end to the conflict . This video became a rare icon in the sea of never ending video trends on facebook and has been compared to the chilling photo of Alan Kurdi a little boy who drowned while en route to Europe. Much like Kurdi’s infamous posthumous photo Daqneesh became a literal poster child for intervention in the crisis. This video along with countless more that followed paved the way for the Aleppo ceasefire and evacuation.
As the city of Aleppo in 2016 was ravaged by conflict it was up to its citizens of the city to get news out as many journalists had previously fled the besieged city. These testimonials from the cities residents enduring through the bombardment were invaluable to news agencies like ITV who interviewed a teacher on his experiences trying to reassure his students during the air strikes. These citizen testimonials from the people on the ground in Syria brought the conflict into peoples consciousness as news has become so participatory thanks to social media especially youtube where Aleppo resident Lina Shamy regularly uploaded videos to her channel during this time. Citizen journalists proved themselves invaluable during the ceasefire exposing to the world that Syria and it allies held disregard for the internationally sanctioned peace agreement when they began to restart bombing the city a day after the ceasefire was agreed upon.
Were it not for the citizens of Aleppo I hold that the conflict may have gone by without the widespread recognition and outcry of the international public whose activism prompted international countries to convince Syrian forces into a ceasefire saving numerous civilian lives.