The dead toddler who changed everything

Alan Kurdi

If there was one photo that captured the world’s attention, it was the picture of three-year-old Alan Kurdi’s body washed up on a Turkish beach. That one image came to symbolise the struggles of Syria’s refugees and helped galvanise global appeals to help them.

Alan, along with his brother Galib and mother Rehan, died on 2 September when their boat capsized, killing 12 Syrian migrants on their way to Greece. His father Abdullah was the only member of the family who survived. He now says he’s given up on his dream of going to Europe and that he will return to Syria.

In an interview with BBC Trending, Alan Kurdi’s aunt, Tima Kurdi, says that Alan’s death changed the way the world viewed refugees, “It is very painful to go through this tragedy, but in other ways. we are so proud of this picture [which] saved thousands of refugees,” she says.

Blog and illustrations by Mai Noman

The girl who mistook a camera for a weapon

Huda's photo was shared on Twitter over 25,000 times, but her father says nothing has changed in their lives since her story went viral.

A photo of a young girl holding up her arms up in front of a camera after she mistook it for a weapon went viral in early 2015 – but little was known about the child.

The original tweet that brought attention to this girl’s story was retweeted over 25,000 times. Back in March, BBC Trending tracked down the Turkish photojournalist, Osman Sağırlı, who took the picture in Atmeh camp on the Syrian border with Turkey. The photo was actually taken in 2014, and the girl’s name is Huda. “I was using a telephoto lens, and she thought it was a weapon,” Sağırlı explained.

BBC Trending tracked down Huda’s father to find out what has happened to the family since the photo of his three-year-old daughter went viral. “Nothing changed,” he said. “Our situation has gone from bad to worse, especially now that it’s winter.” Huda’s father says basic things, like water, are not always available at the camp where they’ve been living for the past three years.

A girl with her hands up in surrenderImage copyrightOsman Sağırlı
Image captionThe original photo was taken by Turkish photographer Osman Sağırlı in 2014

for many more stories that changed things go to BBC