A boy desperate for food becomes the face of the Rohingya crisis
Photographs and text by KEVIN FRAYER
The scene in Cox’s Bazar, Bangladesh, on Sept. 20 was chaotic. It was the first distribution of food aid that I had seen on this trip. People were shouting and reaching, and I could feel the anxiety as the crowd shifted. I was struggling to work so I wanted to get above it. As I climbed on the truck, women were shouting and people were more distraught, as they were obviously exhausted and hungry.
That’s when I saw this small boy to the left of my view. He had pulled himself up onto the truck and he was weeping. I couldn’t hear much because the scene was so loud, but at one point the boy reached out his hand and tapped the leg of the man standing over the food. He then wrapped his arms around the man’s leg to cling to it, begging with tears rolling down his cheeks. I was totally struck by it: this vulnerable child in a massive crowd had clawed his way onto the truck in complete desperation. It was at that point that I realized how sad this story was going to be.
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