Blinded in one eye, baby Karim symbol of siege

The heartrending photograph of a Syrian baby who lost his eye in an air strike has set off a viral social media campaign, with users sharing pictures of themselves covering one eye. The shot depicts 40-day-old Karim Abdallah, wrapped in a puffy red jacket, with crescent-shaped scarring where his left eye should be and a dark red welt on his forehead. An October 29 government air strike on a rebel bastion near Damascus severely wounded Karim and killed his mother, according to relatives and the doctor who treated him — and kicked off a worldwide support campaign.

Users are taking pictures of themselves covering one of their eyes and sharing them on Twitter and Facebook with the hashtag #SolidarityWithKarim. The campaign even reached the United Nations, where British Ambassador Matthew Rycroft tweeted a photograph of himself at the Security Council, his right hand over his eye. “When we sit around the UNSC & warn that inaction will mean more people are going to die. More schools bombed. More children scarred. This is what we mean,” he wrote. “We must see an end to the bombardment & siege of Eastern Ghouta.”

Photographs in solidarity with Karim have been posted by other Syrian children, journalists, activists and members of the White Helmets rescue service, which operates in rebel-controlled areas. Government ministers in Turkey, a supporter of the rebels, also took up the cause. — AFP