For Omran



Omran Daqneesh


It is so easy to get caught up in the luxury of our own lives and forget that most of us live at a level of privilege and assurance that is denied so many fellow humans. I’m not overly wedded to political or religious ideology for the simple reason that power is easily abused.

This is probably one of the most powerful images of the year. Omran Daqneesh sitting alone after being woken up by Syrian/Russian airstrikes. Read his story here. He’s still lucky … over 250,000 people have died in the five years of ‘war’.

It so easy for us (the Australian) living in a country which is regularly cited as one of the best places to live with cities that are usually top ten in the liveability rankings that some privileged bureaucrats got paid to dream up. It’s easy for me, as a teacher to stick to the narrative and blindly focus on the dot-points and not make children aware of what power-enabled adults are capable of – and are doing. Sure kids want what they want and will have a moan if they don’t get it, but it’s well worth reminding ourselves that the number one thing we adults have to teach children is that power is dangerous, it is constantly used to devastating effect on people with no power – at the very moment we are complaining about our iPhones being low on battery or not being able to sit with our friends.

So I put this on my classroom wall, and just left it – I hope that Omran survives and is able to enjoy a life as luxurious as mine. As to the people who did this in the name of politics, religion or nationalism. Be ashamed.