Where Are the Children- Robin Davidson

Inspiration for “Shell”

In September 2015 the image of Aylan Kurdi, a drowned child lying face down on a sandy beach in Turkey, swept social media as visceral evidence of the war in Syria. The three-year-old boy had washed ashore after the rubber boat carrying him and his family capsized as they sought refuge in Greece. I had just spent a lovely week, far from the ravages of war, walking the Galveston beaches with my grandson Brody, very nearly Aylan’s age. I could not stop looking at the photo of the Turkish soldier’s arms curled around the lifeless body, lifting him from the sand. And in those moments of obsessive gazing, I felt the heft of the dead child against my own chest. This could be my child. The world’s children are our children. Each of us is responsible.

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