UNICEF’s Photo of the Year: Picture of 11-Year-Old Syrian Child Injured by Shrapnel Wins Award

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By Gopi Chandra Kharel | March 5, 2014 5:42 PM EST

A horrifying picture of an 11-year-old Syrian child, Dania, who was injured by shrapnel while playing on the street, has won the UNICEF's photo of the year award. The picture was taken by Swedish Photographer Niclas Hammarstrom .

UNICEF Press Release
This Picture of 11-Year-Old Syrian Child Dania Injured by Shrapnel Wins Award (Credit: Niclas Hammarström/Kontinent/UNICEF Press Release)

He has been honored for his photo series on the life of children in the war-torn Syrian town of Aleppo, UNICEF said in a release.

"The Photo of the Year shows the face of the Syrian civil war - the face of an injured and severely traumatized child", said Daniela Schadt, patroness of UNICEF Germany. "The look on the child's face is an appeal to the international community to strengthen its diplomatic and humanitarian efforts in order to prevent the loss of an entire generation of children."

The picture tends to show the horrifying circumstances children in the war-torn country go through. The girl lies semi-conscious and doesn't know what really is going on. Blood has almost dried on her lips and cheeks and has stained her hands and clothes giving a symbolic representation of how bloodshed in the cursed country has snatched away the innocence of little children.

The look on this girl's face appears to be serene, calm and resigned, as thought to signify deep meditation on what was going on or an inability to make sense that horrifying things of such kind could happen.

The bold look in her eyes despite seeing blood around her tends to suggest that she is calling for international attention on the horrific toll on innocents caught in the crossfire of the brutal war.

Hammarstrom, who belonged to Sweden's Kontinent photojournalism agency, was kidnapped in Syria along with his fellow reporter Magnus Falkehed and held for weeks, until they were finally released earlier this year.

The photojournalist met Dania in a hospital, where she was found recovering from the bomb attack. Dania was eventually able to return home, but it was destroyed months later in combat.

Hammarstorm photographed his series from October 2012 to January 2013 in Aleppo.

"The photo series of UNICEF's competition capture more than meets the eye. They also succeed in summarizing and analyzing the story behind the picture. They enable us to better understand the reality of children under very different circumstances", said Jury Chairman Prof. Klaus Honnef.

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(Photo: UNICEF Press Release / )
This Picture of 11-Year-Old Syrian Child Dania Injured by Shrapnel Wins Award (Credit: Niclas Hammarström/Kontinent/UNICEF Press Release)
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