From Smiles to Terror: A Moment in Syria

On May 6, Reuters photographer Bassam Khabieh was in the Douma neighborhood of Damascus, Syria, covering the arrival of a Red Crescent convoy carrying medical aid and supplies used for activities to give psychological support to children affected by the war. Khabieh: "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."

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