FACT CHECK: Does This Image Show A Yemeni Child Sleeping Between The Graves Of His Parents?

Hannah Hudnall | Fact Check Reporter

An image shared on Facebook allegedly shows a Yemeni child sleeping between the graves of his parents.

Verdict: False

The photo is part of a conceptual project. The boy is Saudi Arabian and the graves are fake.

Fact Check:

Yemen’s government, backed by a Saudi Arabian-led coalition, has been engaged in a seven-year-long war against a rebel group known as the Houthis, according to BBC News. Hundreds of thousands of people have been killed in the conflict, France 24 reports.

The Facebook image, which has garnered over 650 reactions, appears to show a young boy sleeping in between two elevated piles of stones and sand. “A Yemeni child sleeping between the graves of his parents,” reads text included in the image. (RELATED: Does This Image Show A Child Who Was Injured During The Russian Invasion Of Ukraine?)

The photo is staged. A reverse image search revealed the picture was captured by Saudi Arabian photographer Abdel Aziz Al-Atib who shared it on his Instagram in January 2014. A colored version was posted days later. “Some children may feel that the body of their dead parents are more affectionate to them than the people they’re living with,” reads an English translation of the image’s Arabic caption.


View this post on Instagram


A post shared by Aziz Alotaibi (@azezphoto)

The photographer told Beruit.com in 2014 that the original image was staged and taken in Saudi Arabia as part of a conceptual project. “I’m a photographer and I try to talk about the suffering that is happening in society, it’s my hobby and my exaggeration is intended to deliver my idea,” said Al-Atib. He explained the boy was his nephew Ibrahim.

Al-Atib shared a photo weeks later of the young boy smiling at the camera and flashing a peace sign. “Behind the scenes of the photo that they stole and attributed to a child in the Levant,” reads an English translation of the caption. At the time, the photo was being shared along with the false claim that it showed a child in Syria, according to Beiruit.com.

Check Your Fact has reached out to Al-Atib for comment and will update this piece if a response is given.

Hannah Hudnall

Fact Check Reporter


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