If nothing else, Aylan’s story puts a face and a name to a crisis so often viewed as a lump sum of faceless individuals.
“Every child I meet talks about going to school, and becoming doctors and engineers.
Kate O’Sullivan, Save the Children’s communications manager of Greece’s response to the refugee and migrant crisis, says she thinks the image of Aylan struck a chord because it arrived in the midst of a massive build-up of awareness around the crisis.
In the past few weeks, more than 70 refugees and migrants were found dead in the back of a truck in Austria; hundreds died in transit off the coast of Libya; and in Hungary, thousands are stranded in Budapest. All of us wished it didn’t take something like this to galvanize people.” If Aylan and his family had made it to Greece, their journey would have been far from over.
Summary: Refugee Boy is an angry book, although it is not one without hope.
It's a very personal perspective on one of today's big issues and its central character is tremendously engaging.Or perhaps it’s because Aylan looks like an normal boy, who is in an ordinary, peaceful setting, not in a war-torn land where violence can be expected.Of course, many children who have left Syria did once lead normal, ordinary lives.If you’ve seen the photos, then you know that Aylan’s red shirt, blue shorts and velcro shoes still clung to him when his body was found washed ashore on a Turkish beach.If you’ve heard the interview with his dad, then you know Abdullah Kurdi did everything he could to save his family before they were swept away.(Listen to PBS News Hour’s podcast Shortwave from producer P. Tobia to learn more about some of those refugee children.) But this story, in particular, has seen international response in a way that others have not.Perhaps the photo resonated with so many because of the stark nature of it — it’s not always the norm for international and national media to run a photo so graphic. His family was one of many trying to escape Syria’s civil war for Greece when their boat capsized.Eleven others drowned, including his five-year-old brother and their mother.They fear for their own safety but more than that, they fear for Alem's safety.And so his father brought him to Britain so that he could leave him there, trusting in Blighty's capacity to care for war refugees, especially children.