Aleppo Media Centre

This Photo Made Everyone Care About Syria, But Google Says Only For One Week


It's been about a week since we first saw the devastating image of Omran Daqneesh, a bloodied and bewildered 5-year-old boy sitting in an ambulance after he survived an air strike and was pulled from the rubble in Aleppo, Syria.

Within that time, Omran's 1o-year-old brother, Ali, tragically passed away from injuries sustained from the air strike.

Unfortunately, the stories of Omran and Ali are not unique.

In Aleppo alone, which has been hit particularly hard since the war in Syria began in 2011, over 18,000 civilians have been killed, including over 4,000 children, according to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights.

What's more, as of April, UN Special Envoy Staffan de Mistura estimated around 400,000 people have died as a consequence of the war in Syria.

Needless to say, this conflict has been absolutely devastating, and it's also a large part of the reason we're currently experiencing the worst refugee crisis since World War II.

This war has been going on for years, but it almost seems as if people only care when they're presented with the awful impact it's having on children.

Last summer, the image of Aylan Kurdi, a Syrian refugee who drowned and washed up on a Turkish beach, went viral.

This summer, we have the image of Omran Daqneesh -- just one of the many who've had their childhoods robbed by this war.

It's hard not to look at images like these without feeling completely heartbroken.

But, how long does this heartbreak last?

If you take a look at Google Trends, it's hard to feel hopeful about people granting concerted or ongoing attention to the Syrian war.

The image of Omran Daqneesh went viral around August 18. If you look at interest over time for the search term "Syria," it peaked on the 18th, but steadily declined over the course of the week.

The same was true for the search term "Syrian Civil War."

And if you take a look at interest over time for the search term "Omran Daqneesh," you'll see it declined fairly rapidly.

Multiple countries, including the United States, are actively involved in the war in Syria.

Still, sometimes it seems as though much of the world only offers it fleeting attention as more children continue to die. Without more pressure from the international community, it's hard to say when this war might end.