I try to get my news from a wide variety of sources, though I do tend to fall into a pattern of my favourites. And while I usually use BuzzFeed as my go-to for mindless scrolling and curse-word-based accessory shopping, today the news section kind of blew my socks off. There are two feature pieces that depict in gut-wrenching detail the effects of the war in Syria and Iraq.
In one, a mother tells the story of losing her sons to ISIS; despite living in England far away from the war-torn cities and countries of the Middle East. Their upbringing sounds like that of a lot of people I knew growing up. A true case of “There but for the grace of god…” that puts into perspective the disease that is radicalism and, I think, shows a glimpse of what’s behind the cloak of this professed Islam: nothing more than angry people poisoning the minds of the young and vulnerable to fight a war they don’t understand. How these kids, and they are kids, are seduced into a cult of personality that turns deadly all too quickly.
The other is the story of the brave men and women fighting the war not with bullets and hate but with love and healing. It’s the story of the doctors left behind to clean up the mess both left behind and currently being made by the destructive forces in Aleppo. The reporter interviews a doctor coming to terms with the death of his colleague, and details the dire need for medical aid and supplies among the 300,000 people trying to stay alive amid the bombs and bullets rocking their country and devastating their homes and families.
Both stories are hard to read and must have been even harder to write. I have to give huge props to these reporters who used BuzzFeeds massive social media platform to deliver something truly worth reading.