A tale of two children: Pic of dead girl in Nice, France draws comparisons to drowned Syrian boy

Published July 15th, 2016 - 01:39 GMT
The victims of Thursday's Nice attack included several children (AFP/Valery Hache)
The victims of Thursday's Nice attack included several children (AFP/Valery Hache)

Bastille Day is supposed to be a joyous celebration of the French Revolution. But festivities in the French city of Nice were instead marked by tragedy as a truck driver-a Tunisian immigrant to France Mohamed Lahouaiej Bouhlel-brutally ran over people in the streets Thursday, killing 84 and leaving many wounded, including at least 50 children. He was subsequently gunned down by police, and in an all too familiar tale is believed to be connected to Daesh (ISIS).

A Reuters image of a dead little girl beside the Nice streets was widely posted on Twitter and international media following the attack, and is drawing comparisons to Turkish journalist Nilufer Demir’s picture of Alan Kurdi, a young boy found dead on a beach in Turkey after fleeing Syria by boat in September. Will the girl become a symbol of the terror France has been experiencing since last year just as Kurdi became a symbol of the refugee crisis?

Possibly. The image is absolutely heartbreaking. The girl lies dead in a body bag with a doll beside her life-less corpse. And some on Twitter have already compared her to Kurdi.

The identity of the girl is not yet known.

It should be noted that some of those on Twitter sharing the picture, including those above, appear to be politically conservative. Some in this crowd insinuated that the media cares more about refugees than European victims of Daesh attacks, given the widespread coverage of Kurdi’s image. Naturally, the European right-wing tweeted extensively on the attack yesterday, criticizing Muslim immigration, Daesh and at times posting hateful language towards Muslims.

Elsewhere on Twitter, accounts from around the world mourned the attack and the girl’s fellow victims.


Correction: an earlier version of this article identified the attacker as solely a French national.

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