To help her cope with the trauma of living in a conflict zone, a three-year-old Syrian girl's father has taught her to laugh each time she hears an explosion or warplane. A deeply-distressing video of the child and her father playing their 'game' as an explosion is heard outside has evoked an emotional response from social media users, who called for an end to violence in the war-torn region.
In the video, that is being widely shared on social media, the man playfully asks his daughter if she hears a shell or an aeroplane outside. "A shell," the little girl replies. "We are going to laugh when it drops," the child's father tells her. As soon an explosion is heard outside, the child bursts into laughter. "Its very funny, right?" the father asks her and the child agrees.
The video is reminiscent of World War 2 film "Life Is Beautiful" in which a Jewish father, imprisoned in a Nazi death camp with his son, uses humor to shield him from grim circumstances.
Social media users reacted strongly to the agonizing video that highlights the deep psychological impact of war on children.
"Oh my God !!! How terrible is it that children have to play such games to manage genuine appropriate emotion. What kind of a world are we giving them," user named Rabee'a Abrar tweeted. "God this is so sadly beautiful. It literally makes my chest feel heavy," another Twitter user wrote.
God this is so sadly beautiful. It literally makes my chest feel heavy.- Tiwari (@VeryTiwari) February 17, 2020
Others prayed for the family's well-being. "Oh god... this is so sad and heartbreaking. God, please help this cute little baby, her family and all the other oppressed people in the world," a Twitter user named Adil Aman wrote.
Oh god... this is so sad and heartbreaking. God, please help this cute little baby, her family and all the other oppressed people in the world.—- Adil Aman (@Adilaman2007) February 17, 2020
The nine-year-long Syrian civil war - one of the worst humanitarian crisis in modern times - has killed and displaced lakhs of people, destroyed cities and drawn in other nations. According to United Nations, some 900,000 people have been displaced from Syria's Idlib since December last year.