Image Of Injured Yemeni Girl Sparks Online Campaign Against War

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The heartbreaking image of a young orphaned girl trying to open one of her eyes has inspired the internet. Now, people want it to help bring an end to the war.

Yemeni girl stands in front of a hut.

The war in Yemen isn't showing signs of slowing down, yet few people seem to be talking about it.

That may change thanks to a social media campaign revolving around the image of a severely injured child who lost her entire family to an air strike.

Bouthaina al-Rimi, a young girl from Sanaa, Yemen, survived a strike that killed her parents and six siblings. But after being left orphaned, an image of little al-Rimi trying to open one of her swollen eyes suddenly went viral.

WARNING: Post may contain images that may be disturbing to some readers.

Serving as an emblematic image of the horrific destruction and suffering the war has caused the Yemeni people, the image of the young girl took off on social media, with online users sharing photos of themselves closing one eye.

The campaign soon grew, with thousands of people using the Arabic hashtags #Bouthaina_The_Eye_Of_Humanity and #I_SPEAK_FOR_BUTHAINA along with their photos.

As the only survivor of the Aug. 25 bombing, many hoped that al-Rimi's image and the images she inspired would raise awareness of the largest cholera outbreak in the world and the nearly half a million children younger than five dying of acute malnutrition in the country.

In no time, news personalities, such as BBC's Nawal Al-maghafi, Yemeni blogger Ezzedine Aref, and even film-maker Abdulrahman Algamily, became involved.

Other users shared their own images along with the hashtags, asking for an end to the war.

As this article is being written, countless others continue to join the campaign, sharing their images and asking the world to pay attention to Yemen's children.

Just like little al-Rimi in the now-viral image, some of us might need extra help to open our eyes so we may finally pay attention to the atrocities committed in the isolated country.

While we're terribly sad that this young child already know worse suffering than most of us will ever experience, we hope her image will finally ignite a flame of change.

Banner and thumbnail image credit: Reuters/Mohamed al-Sayaghi

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