My post about “that” photograph has proved surprisingly popular, and I thought that an update might be in order – simply for completeness sake.
Despite all the media attention, and the endless reuse of the photograph of that poor child, face down in the sand, little more has come from our central media about the event. It seems once they took and used the child’s image for their own editorial purposes that was an end of it.
Well, since we have been looking elsewhere, some interesting facts and stories are coming out. Firstly, immediately after their death Abdullah took the bodies of his wife and two children back to Kobane in Syria for burial, an act which in itself might have struck one as odd considering how very hard he said he was trying to get away from there. Then Abdullah lets it be known that he no longer wants to leave for the West, or indeed even return to Turkey where he had fled, we were told, to be safe. His line about wishing to sit by their graves for all time wore a little thin when you consider how cavalier he had been with their safety and not buying his family those life-jackets. Then Abdullah takes a powder and vanishes entirely. No sitting by the grave. no interviews, no media spread ,no TV spots, no nowt.
Meantime it is disclosed that far from being a penniless asylum seeker thrown onto the beneficent mercies of the charity of others, Abdullah and his family were far from living in some over-crowded squalid camp, but instead had quartered themselves in a nice little apartment paid for by relatives in Canada. And indeed far from being penniless, Abdullah himself had a job as a supervisor in a female garment factory. The reasons why he seems to have this heartfelt desire to risk all for his family get more difficult to discern.
Then there is the little matter of the boat itself. Abdullah gave us all that horrific depiction of the pirate navigator throwing himself overboard to save his own skin, and leaving brave Abdullah to wrestle fruitlessly with the wheel in heaving seas before being overcome and the boat capsizing.
He was not the only survivor though, and others have a different story. They say that he was always the pilot of the boat from the very beginning of the trip, and indeed that he had been seen as being very close with the pirates before embarkation. Others also remember Abdullah trying to get them to corroborate his version of events, begging them not to dob him in it, even as they were floundering in the sea surrounded by the corpses of his inadequacy.
More and more it looks like Abdullah has fled back to Syria to avoid the awkward questions of the authorities, who might conceivably be looking at charges of multiple manslaughter, or even of working with the pirates themselves. Perhaps even murder? I suspect too if any of his fellow boat people had caught up with him
they would like to have a word too. Personally I dont think we are likely to see much of Abdullah again.
So why are the general media so reticent about this aspect of the story? Does it not fit well with a previously agreed agenda that is heavily slanted? Is it just a story that will not fit “the party line”? Or is it something far, far worse- just cheap easy sensationalism driven journalism?
If nothing else it proves the value of blogs and other facets of the news process.
Copyright David Macadam 2015