Saturday, June 28, 2008

A Portrait of an Afghanistan Baby



I’m in Singapore, an idealistic country close to utopia. But here I found probably one of the most chilling things I’d ever see in my lifetime.

My sister and her family were taking me around Singapore to bask in the beauty of this nation. We were taking pictures around Boat Quay, and despite the construction going on, even of the Merlion.

Singapore is currently being groomed for several events and one of those is the National Day Parade to be held on 9 August 2008 at the Marina Bay. In preparation for this event, Singaporeans are running through their program. We were lucky enough to witness a glimpse of their air show.

Jet fighter after another jet fighter came flying by, in flying V formations, from different directions, while two even formed a heart with the smoke they emitted. I was so absorbed with the aerial exhibition, I didn’t notice how my niece was reacting to it.

The jets, military jets, were making too much noise, little Yzee was trembling with fear. At the sight of her, I saw flashes of what-could-be-portraits-of-Afghan-babies. I swear I could have cried if I didn’t stop myself.

You see, babies, they may have no idea what destruction a jet fighter can make and yet its sound haunts them. Babies know nothing about war and yet some of them die because of it. They are just innocent, innocent casualties.

While we were having a good time at the Boat Quay, an Afghan baby may be cringing at the arms of its mommy, quivering due to extreme fear because their place is under attack by jet fighters or tanks or what-have-you. I saw that baby’s face through my niece.

And I felt the pang of fear. I realized how certain things couldn’t be fair.

Worse, I couldn’t do anything about it.

Yzee will surely be fine. Her mummy assured her that no will harm her. Her daddy gave her a hug to further calm her.

But the Afghan baby? It will be lucky if it survives the attack. It will be extra blessed if its mom or dad survives with it.

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