Following a devastating, US-led airstrike in Syria that killed hundreds of innocent civilians, many children in the war-torn country are trying to appeal to players of the insanely popular smartphone game “Pokemon Go.”
The children participating in this campaign are hoping that attention will be drawn to their plight by way of the popular game.
Syrian children holding Pokemon photos in hopes the world will find them and save them pic.twitter.com/pjnSMwSdTn
— Teymour (@Teymour_Ashkan) July 21, 2016
— إعلام قوى الثورة (@RFS_mediaoffice) July 20, 2016
The Revolutionary Forces of Syria media office posted the photos of Syrian children with popular Pokemon characters like Pikachu and Squirtle. One photo’s caption reads, “Come save me.”
The person responsible for the idea of using Pokemon Go to bring awareness to countless Syrian refugees is Taim Shami, of the refugee advocacy organization FacesOfChange. After the nearly instant skyrocket in popularity the game received when it was released, Shami came up with the photo series and called it Syria Go. Shami wants to show that, instead of Pokemon, refugees would rather have real things that most people take for granted, like amenities, education, food, and homes.
Syrians have more pressing concerns than catching Pokemon If only augmented reality could save lives here is SyriaGo pic.twitter.com/QbzlKEbFJx
— taim shami (@taimshamii) July 19, 2016
Since 2011, Syria has been overlooked and its people have been ignored after civil war broke out between rebel forces and the Bashar al-Assad regime. To make things worse, Syria is home to ISIS headquarters, which makes it a target for US and Russian air strikes.
More than 80 civilians were killed by an airstrike this week, including at least 11 children. The families that were murdered were somehow thought to be part of ISIS. So far, an estimated 4.5 million people have had to flee the country altogether because of nearly-constant airstrikes and increased battles between ISIS and Western-backed rebels.
Times are beyond desperate for Syrians, and it should be incredibly upsetting to everyone that the popularity of a game is what is now being used to bring attention to people who are living in constant peril.
Featured Image via Twitter