If This 14-Year Old Boy Can't Convince You to Intervene in Syria, Not Much Will


I'll be the first to admit that I have no clue how to fix the Syrian war. I could tell you 10 ways it won't be fixed, but don't have even one solution. The entire world is in the same predicament. We've been watching the war for more than two years now, and its dead, and the refugees stuffed into camps as dense as chicken coops.

We've all been finding ways not to intervene in a significant way because of political complications, logistical complications, you name it. Truthfully, the world doesn't have to step in. Wars end. Whether that means five more years or 20, I don't know. But someone will fire the last shot, and Syria will be left somewhere between rubble and a hard place. 

But if there is any element that could persuade world powers to address Syria head-on, it may be embedded in a recent video from VICE on the Syrian War. 

The seven-and-a-half-minute video follows an unnamed Syrian boy who, for four months now, has served in his local hospital as a nurse. Most of the doctors fled for Turkey and never returned, so the hospital is under-staffed to say the least. He's 14. A weak shadow of a moustache stains his upper lip. His work hours are sometimes 8 a.m. to 10 p.m., and he sleeps in the hospital instead of returning home. But the war stole his innocence, and that is hardest to watch about this touching and introspective little boy.

At 1:23 a man translating for VICE asks, "Do you miss playing with your friends? Do you miss your childhood and your childhood joy?"

The boy responds, "Well I forgot it all. We have more important business to do."

Nothing should be more important for a boy his age than playing ball with his friends and running up girls' skirts. Instead the boy spoke of bloody gurneys and how he used to cry often, but has since hardened to the scenes. 

"I got used to seeing blood like it's water," he said. 

The boy loves delivering babies more than serving wounded victims, and imagines the children as future revolutionaries.

"We want to get rid of the tyrant and raise babies of the revolution to build a Syria of tomorrow."

What does he want to be when he grows up? A doctor. But what does he want more than that? A free Syria. How much longer must he wait until someone gives him one?