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We couldn’t save Aylan, but let’s try to save humanity!

Sometimes it is hard to remain impartial when faced with an image like the one of little Aylan's lifeless body

Faisal J. Abbas

Published: Updated:

I write these words whilst struggling to hold back a warm tear bound to fall from my eye at some point. After all, editors-in-chief are supposed to be emotionless, cold and detached (particularly in front of fellow journalists in the newsroom). For it is our job to deal with hard news and report impartially on our world’s cruel realities on a daily basis.

However, what I simply cannot comprehend is how the world at large can live with itself after seeing the devastating recent images of Aylan Kurdi, a Syrian toddler who drowned trying to escape the war that tore his country apart.

How could anyone not relate to this catastrophe? Just take a moment to scan through the pictures that quickly emerged of this innocent child’s short life; of him joyfully laughing, of him hugging a teddy bear and of his tiny sneakers which he died in.

Just a reminder, this whole mess began when the Assad Regime chose to brutally crush - what started off as - peaceful protests demanding that Syrians enjoy similar rights as people in democratic countries do; countries like Canada…which Aylan and his family died trying to reach!

Faisal J. Abbas

I don’t know how you feel, but Aylan could have easily been my son, and I refuse to be indifferent to the plight of the Syrian people just because he isn’t!

What is equally important to note is that this plight will not cease to exist just because we do not get to see - or chose not to see - the images of the 200,000 other men, women and children who have died there since 2011.

Just a reminder, this whole mess began when the Assad Regime chose to brutally crush - what started off as - peaceful protests demanding that Syrians enjoy similar rights as people in democratic countries do; countries like Canada…which Aylan and his family died trying to reach!

The greatest tragedy in modern history

Let us make no mistake, what we are witnessing in Syria today is a tragedy, and perhaps a greater one than anything we ever experienced in modern history.

Indeed, as a result of global inaction, we paved the way for the likes of ISIS to emerge and falsely claim they are there to avenge innocent children like Aylan

Faisal J. Abbas

The bigger tragedy is that rather than tackling the refugee crisis, and the reasons behind it (i.e. Assad), most world powers are still opting to play politics instead.

Indeed, as a result of global inaction, we paved the way for the likes of ISIS to emerge and falsely claim they are there to avenge innocent children like Aylan.

The bottom line is that the good work (of stopping Assad’s massacres) shouldn’t have been left to dirty people like ISIS, President Obama shouldn’t have backtracked when he said the regime using chemical weapons was a red-line, while both the international community and wealthy Arab countries should do more to aid refugees, instead of the meaningless debate some countries are engaging in on whether the victims of Assad’s crimes are called “refugees” or “migrants!”

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Faisal J. Abbas is the Editor-in-Chief of Al Arabiya English, he is a renowned blogger and an award-winning journalist. Faisal covered the Middle East extensively working for Future Television of Lebanon and both Al-Hayat and Asharq Al-Awsat pan-Arab dailies. He blogs for The Huffington Post since 2008, and is a recipient of many media awards and a member of the British Society of Authors, National Union of Journalists, the John Adams Society as well as an associate member of the Cambridge Union Society. He can be reached on @FaisalJAbbas on Twitter.

Disclaimer: Views expressed by writers in this section are their own and do not reflect Al Arabiya English's point-of-view.