'Hardship of Life': Heartbreaking photo of Syrian father & son wins SIPA awards 2021
At the Siena International Photo Awards (SIPA) 2021, a heartbreaking photo of a Syrian father with his young son born without either upper or lower limbs has won the photo of the year.
Mehmet Aslan, a Turkish photographer took this image titled 'Hardship of Life', near the Syrian border in the district of Reyhanli in Hatay, a province in Turkey.
The picture shows the father Munzir, who lost his right leg after being hit by a bomb while walking through a bazaar in Idlib, Syria, swinging his young son Mustafa in the air.
Mustafa, who is pictured smiling widely, was born without lower or upper limbs, due to tetra-amelia, a congenital disorder, which was caused by medications his mother Zeynep had to take after suffering from a nerve gas attack during the war in Syria.
“Mustafa will need a special electronic prosthesis in the future, which unfortunately, are not yet available in Turkey.” reads the caption under this award-winning photo entry.
Mustafa's family has fled Idlib and is now living near the Syrian border in southern Turkey, where they are looking for prosthetics for him.
A report in The Washington Post quoted Zeynep, Mustafa's mother, as saying, “The picture has reached the world…We’ve tried for years to get our voices heard by anyone who would listen, to help with his treatment. We’d give anything to give him a better life.”
The Syrian conflict began ten years ago when a peaceful uprising was violently suppressed. This led to a civil war of unprecedented proportions. According to UNICEF, there are 5.6 million refugees in the world today, including 2.5 million children, living in countries such as Egypt, Iraq, Jordan, Lebanon, and Turkey.
The Siena International Photo Awards are open to photographers from all over the world, whether they are professionals, enthusiasts or newbies. An exhibition of the winners started on October 23 in the Italian city Siena as part of the Siena Awards festival of visual arts there.
Aslan, who won overall, will receive about $1,745 worth of photography equipment, a crystal trophy, and other promotional gifts.