The Houla Massacre

Just a few metres down the street from us is a milk bar (candy store) run by a Syrian family. I thought about them the entire time while I was drawing this cartoon. 

I usually start my Sundays looking for news stories to base my Monday editorial cartoon on. I'll be honest and say that I spent half the morning avoiding this story mainly because I felt like I didn't have enough background information to make an educated statement about what was happening in Syria. Sure I kept seeing the headlines off to the side; but when drawing editorial cartoons, I usually take the more popular stories as subject matter. That way more people might "get it."

But, as I was trawling for stories, I noticed that Dylan Horrocks posted on twitter about following #HoulaMassacre to see the world's reaction. And so, I did that. Out of curiosity and out of trying to find a story to base a cartoon on.

It led me to a video on YouTube that rattled me to the core. I know war is horrific, but I was not prepared to see a room full of dead children under the age of 10 - each one being picked up in turn and presented to the camera like a limp doll. And with each one, the presenter asked the camera, "what has this child done to deserve this?" Those images on that video stayed with me for the rest of the day and will stay with me for the rest of my life.

I don't want to rant about how atrocities like this should not happen. That much should be obvious to anyone who has blood in their veins and a brain in their head.

I don't want to give links to news stories about this massacre. If you want to see those horrors, then do an image search for "Houla". You don't even have to type in "massacre."

If anything, I would like anyone who reads this blog to take a moment to honour those children by giving someone - whose life you appreciate - a hug. Let them know that you're glad they exist in your world and that your life is immensely better for it.

This cartoon is dedicated to that great family down the road and their children who I know are very very loved.


Matt said...

Well done. You handled the subject with sensitivity and grace... Now I have to go wake up my kids and hug them and never let go.

Anthony Woodward said...

I remember after we had Elliott, every horrible photo like that I saw took on new meaning. The people became more real, and I thought of all the struggles and joys the parents had gone through just to end in this terrible way

Christopher Downes said...

Thanks Anthony and Matt,
I feel the exact same way. I keep thinking about how those kids were taught how to walk at some point and how once they were all the same age as Clementine.