FACT CHECK: Does This Photo Show A Boy Sleeping Between His Parents’ Graves In Syria?

Trevor Schakohl | Fact Check Reporter

An image shared on Facebook more than 700 times allegedly shows a young child sleeping between the graves of his parents in Syria.

“Surely this is going to be the most thoughtful photo you’ll ever see,” reads the caption. “A boy sleeping among his parents’ graves in Syria!!” And you think you have problems????”

Verdict: False

The photo, taken in Saudi Arabia, was actually staged for an artistic photography project about familial relationships.

Fact Check:

In early October, Trump announced the withdrawal of U.S. troops from northeastern Syria, ahead of a Turkish military incursion into the area. The withdrawal, some have noted, largely abandoned the U.S.’s Kurdish allies in the region.

A viral image, shared more than 700 times, allegedly depicts a Syria boy wrapped in a red-and-white blanked sleeping between the graves of his parents. The Facebook post uses the image to criticize supporters of President Donald Trump, presumably for the president’s decision to withdrawal those troops.

“Why would any Trump supporters calling themselves Christians ever bother going to church when they are aiding and abetting treason, genocide, mass murder, and ethnic cleansing, unless it’s to ask for forgiveness or it’s all perfectly ok with Republican Jesus!” reads the caption.

Through a reverse image search, the Daily Caller discovered that the photograph does not, in fact, show what the Facebook post claims. The image, taken by Saudi photographer Abdul Aziz al-Otaibi in Saudi Arabia, is actually a staged photo from a 2014 art project. Al-Otaibi posted the photo on his Instagram Jan. 7, 2014.

“I had the idea to make a project whereby I show in pictures how the love of a child for his parents is irreplaceable,” al-Otaibi told Dutch journalist Harald Doornbos in 2014. “Of course I would never ever put a child between two real graves.”

The child in the photograph is his nephew, who is not an orphan, and the grave were simply piles of stones, according to al-Otaibi.

“It’s not true at all that my picture has anything to do with Syria,” said al-Otaibi. “I am really shocked how people have twisted my picture.”

The claim that the picture shows a boy lying between his parents’ graves in Syria originated with Twitter user @americanbad, who tweeted it out with a false caption in 2014, according to India Today.

Trevor Schakohl

Fact Check Reporter
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