Best Photo of the Year is a powerful portrait of the war in Syria

Best Photo of the Year is a powerful portrait of the war in Syria

The picture taken by photographer Mehmet Aslan has just won the main prize at the Siena International Photo Awards.

“Hardship of Life” – or in free translation “The Difficulties of Life” – was the headline of the Turkish photographer for the picture that moved the world after international awards in Siena, Italy. The photo shows a father and son in a loving moment, both of whom bear the marks of a difficult life.

Munzir al-Nazzal, the father, lost his leg in the bombing of a Syrian market in Idlib. Mustafa’s wife and mother Zeynep were also affected by the conflict. After inhaling a neurotoxic gas during pregnancy, she underwent dangerous treatment.

A short time later the boy was born, now five years old and with a congenital defect that gave birth to him without arms or legs. “[Um defeito] caused by the medication that the mother took after she fell ill from inhaling gas, ”explain those responsible for the photo competition.

The war and the search for medical help to give the boy the prostheses he needs for a normal life led the family to cross the border into Turkey.

There Mehmet Aslan met her. “We wanted to pay more attention to this story. The boy has a lot of energy but the father seems to have given up already [de encontrar ajuda]”Says” The Washington Post “.

“I swear I ran all the hospitals. There is no city that he has not visited, but nothing has ever happened, ”the child’s father explains to the American newspaper, which is looking for specialized medical treatment for Mustafa – and also special prostheses that are not available in Turkey.

With the help of neighbors and other refugees, the family survived with minimal resources. It is a drama experienced by many Syrians who sought peace in Turkey that they did not find in their country. Yet they are viewed with contempt by the Turks themselves. A stigma Aslan tries to dispel.

“For years we have been trying to get them to hear our voices, to help us with treatment [do Mustafa]. We would give everything so that he could have a better life, ”admits the mother. “Now photography has reached the whole world.”

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