Syrian Child Refugee Marwan’s Viral Desert Photo Not a Hoax, But 4-Year-Old was Not Far Behind Family
By Gopi Chandra Kharel | February 19, 2014 12:33 AM EST
The photograph of a Syrian child refugee, in which he appeared to walk all by himself in a desert after fleeing the country, stirred a spate of reactions from outraged internet users, who thought that the child was indeed alone in the desert.
Syrian Refugees (Representational Picture)
Acc to UNHCR, little Marwan was found in in Jordan desert w possessions in plastic bag; was later reunited w family. pic.twitter.com/rAUIx82Vxm
— Hala Gorani (@HalaGorani) February 17, 2014
But soon enough, it was revealed that four-year-old Marven was only a few yards away from a group of other people, making their journey across the desert.
Marwan's story is that he was temporarily separated frm his family in d chaos of the mass @refugees x'ing to #Jordan pic.twitter.com/ghmKtoFnYY — Andrew Harper (@And_Harper) February 18, 2014
Andrew Harper, the head of the UN refugee agency UNHCR in Jordon, took the photo and posted it on Twitter, where it hit a nerve with thousands of users; and the picture quickly went viral.
"Here 4 year old Marwan, who was temporarily separated from his family, is assisted by UNHCR staff to cross Jordan", Harper wrote, along with the picture.
The picture was retweeted 1,055 times and 'favorited' 334 times at the time of writing this article.
Harper also told BBC that such scenes were not unusual, while refugees cross the border in "chaos and confusion".
— Andrew Harper (@And_Harper) February 18, 2014
The picture had invited a surge of emotional responses. An individual with a handle @beamartinh said: "Your picture has had great repercussion on Spanish society. Highly emotional event. No words."
But upon discovering that the boy was not really alone as seen in the picture, another person with a profile name 'The Great One' said: "Complete photo opp. Shame on UNHCR for going this low. U want us to believe this kid survived that harsh desert alone!"
The boy has now been reportedly re-united with his family members.
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