A powerful photograph of a one-legged Syrian father holding his son born without lower or upper limbs has been recognized as the Siena International Photo Awards (SIPA) 2021 photo of the year. Turkish photographer Mehmet Aslan was recognized as the overall winner with his photo “Hardship of Life.”

A powerful photograph of a one-legged Syrian father holding his son born without lower or upper limbs has been recognized as the Siena International Photo Awards (SIPA) 2021 photo of the year. Turkish photographer Mehmet Aslan was recognized as the overall winner with his photo “Hardship of Life.”


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That picture is heavy AF.


It hit me quick.


You too can be a hero: [https://www.faa.gov/uas/commercial\_operators/become\_a\_drone\_pilot/](https://www.faa.gov/uas/commercial_operators/become_a_drone_pilot/) Service reinstates basic human rights: the right to free education and the right to free medical care. Service guarantees citizenship.


You wan him to search and destroy them with a XBOX controller and an occulus rift to finish the job? https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=K4NRJoCNHIs




Was this from a US drone strike?


against all odds, no, but another comment says it's indirectly due to nerve gas


Which was likely held in a rebel (supposedly good guys) stronghold.


There are no "good guys." Murder is murder. Every human is flawed. But the richest country in the world bombing the poorest ones to take their resources seems pretty fucking evil to me. And if the people from those poor countries are willing to fight tooth and nail for their relief, who can possibly blame them?


This photo fucked me up


Fucked me up good and proper too. In the face of all of that political/war bullshit in Syria and a birth defect of that degree, they can still manage to share a laugh. If that doesn't hit you like a train, you just aren't human.


I really want to go wake my daughter up and hold her right now, fuck




Take my upvote and leave




Seriously! So good and so bad at the same exact time.


You fuckan bastard. I went from feeling it in the feels to chuckling out loud.


This is the true gift of comedy, to knock us out of those bad feels. Doesn't negate them but gives us some breathing room again.


It's always like this under every post detailing a major tragedy or an unfortunate event. Some dipshit has to post a shitty quip, joke or pun so they can rake in those internet points for their epic dark humour for the entertainment of the self-inferred intelligent netizens here who spend their time sniffing each others assholes. Of course the height of humour can't be appreciated enough without users proclaiming they felt bad until they had to laugh or posting the usual "take my upvote".


is it reddit without a clown trying to crowbar a tortured pun or basic quip into the comments > Of course the height of humour can't be appreciated enough without users proclaiming they felt bad until they had to laugh or posting the usual "take my upvote". and don't forget: the 'comedy' is a coping mechanism. making a shit joke over someone else's misfortune is, like, basic human behaviour.


There is this word again… heavy. Why is everything so heavy in the future? Is there something wrong with the earth’s gravitational pull?


Why am I crying


Power comes in many forms. Being a good dad regardless of your struggles, or your child's, is a major form of power that can shake this floating rock.


God damn, well put.


Do you know if the father was born without a leg and passed this on to his son?


Syria? Prob trauma from war.


Genetics don't work in this fashion.


From my understanding phocomelia is prominently caused by genetic inheritance or exposure to certain drugs like thalidomide. Do you have the context of the photo? Because I don’t.


“It depicts an emotional moment between a father who has lost one leg and who is holding his son who was born without limbs due to a congenital disorder caused by the medications his mother had to take after being sickened by the nerve gas released during the war in Syria.” https://petapixel.com/2021/10/21/emotional-shot-of-father-holding-son-wins-siena-photo-awards-2021/


unfucking believable. Reminds me of a documentary I watched about people still being born with awful diseases in Vietnam due to their parents' exposure to Agent Orange. Apparently it can cause genetic diseases that carry on for *generations*. Incredibly sad what people have done to others with chemical warfare.


Fully-abled here, and this one picture radiated more love and power than my father has shown me his entire life


Damn, I'm sorry to hear that. All I can hope is you give that same love to your child if you have one now or have one in the future.


Thanks for the love homie, it doesn’t sting as much, at least not anymore. Will definitely shower my future kids with love if I end up having some :)


Go to r/DadForAMinute and r/MomForAMinute when you want some virtual support and understanding. They’re good groups.


For anyone else that has no brain, “floating rock” is referring to earth and not the child


who would think floating rock referred to child 🤣


A boulder


This is also what we call in islam jihad. It literally means struggle, whether its against yourself (smiling even when you're sad) or against life (this photo)


Not very nice to call the poor kid a floating rock.


To make you son laugh like this ..


Good Dad Award


That smile is the same on every little boy's face, everywhere on Earth. Pure joy, love, and trust.


But wait until he's a teenager and asks his parents why did they conceive him if there was such a risk. Edit: your downvotes made me look up the [full story](https://petapixel.com/2021/10/21/emotional-shot-of-father-holding-son-wins-siena-photo-awards-2021/). Damn. > It depicts an emotional moment between a father who has lost one leg and who is holding his son who was born without limbs due to a congenital disorder caused by the medications his mother had to take after being sickened by the nerve gas released during the war in Syria.


They probably *didn't* know.


Wow well you must feel like an ass then. I'd say it was bad luck but few syrians haven't been hurt in the conflict. More than 10 years of it.


Or doesnt? What a shitty pessimistic assumption about a situation that could turn out in a million different ways.


Dude, come on. This is one of the most terrible things that could happen to a living person — not being able to move, not being able to *eat* for yourself, let alone provide for yourself and your family. You are *forever* dependant on your aging family, you will never be able to do anything by yourself. It's not a "shitty pessimistic assumption" to realize this is a horrible thing and I'm not saying he'd blame his parents, but there's a lot of pain in this kid's life ahead of him and it's safe to assume that no matter what some of it will be passed on to his parents.


I agree, he'll one day be pissed that he was conceived by his two parents who couldn't keep it in their pants during a civil war where chemical weapons were used that resulted in his birth defects during his mother's pregnancy. My family has big portion of it of Syrian descent. The war in Syria made them all feel sad and torn as Syria prior to the war was an extremely beautiful country. I say this because they have a strong connection to Syria given that where their grandparents and great grandparents are from. Regarding the Syrian refugees they always wondered why the hell would you try to conceive children in the midst of a civil war. Or why do during unlivable conditions. He k my mother would always say that whenever she'd see hundreds of children conceived during the war and you could see how young they are so you could tell it was recent at the time. I mean if they were living somewhere safely and wanted to have kids, that's one thing but in a situation like I described? Feels extremely selfish and irrational.




That smile is so damn powerful, so pure and perfect. Awesome heart wrenching shot.


Damn, that's a rough life for both of them.


Imagine what the kid’s kid is gonna go through when he’s born with just a head


Keked hard but feel guilty now.


Suddenly all my problems have shrunk


Definitely has that effect.


My problems have not shrunk. But this is a remarkably powerful picture


After being told as a child "eat all your food as there are starving kids in africa," and knowing the premise of 90210, I figure that everyone has their own problems no matter the situation, and to each person, those problems matter, and just because someone might have it better off or worse off doesn't invalidate anyone elses problems.


This comment reminds me of a recent anime "To Your Eternity". In it, there was a story about two characters. One a little boy who rescued a girl his age from an accident that left his face disfigured. He always had his face hidden because of that. The girl he saved only got a small little scar. The girl was from a wealthy family and was sheltered and pampered and the boy was poor and all alone. At the time, she didn't realize he saved her. Long story short, they eventually meet up. Fall in love. The girl is embarrassed to show her wound, ignorantly thinking it as a massive injury that anyone would be appalled by (again, she never had seen his face before). Eventually they show each other their wounds. The moral of this part of the entire story is that we all have our own struggles and despite the differences in severity, they all affect us relative to our own circumstances. Perhaps it was a bit exaggerated of a way to tell this message, but it is still a good message to be told.


Thanks for sharing. Do you think those spoilers matter if I watch?


Also tagging u/mutenae This is only a minor spoiler. These two aren't the main protagonist of the show, so the only thing you got spoiled is that specific story arc.


Amazing, on my list— thanks!! Have you finished the whole series?


Ditto, I wanna show if it's worth watching still


Yeah, this put things into perspective.


But it doesn't invalidate your struggle. You look at this & gain a deeper understanding of the context of your world, but it shouldn't require that you diminish your pain. Sorry to soapbox a little, I just always worry things like this can cause someone to think they shouldn't take their suffering seriously because someone else is doing better with less. (By the same token, someone doing well in spite if it all should feel only their pride/gratitude/whatever else that they deserve.)


Is that weird that immediately I start feeling I need to pet my dog and show him love?


Some might tell you that you’re equating the people in the post to animals… But I think the story stimulated compassion in you… And probably the thing closest to you and completely dependent upon you is your pet. And so you should show compassion to it. It’s good to provide for others.


I absolutely love my best bud. I will leave for 15 minutes, and I'm coming back, and he's freaking out "barking from excitement". Or I'm coming back home after any type of shitty day, and suddenly I can't have anything at the emotions because that little dude makes me forget everything about instantly. So in many situations, yes I'm putting him above people who caused me feel very shitty.


Totally agree. I take my buddy in the car as much as I can. When I walk out of a shop he is ALWAYS sitting up staying right at me. I've tested him by coming out different doors of a shopping mall. I get the soul stare every time. Distance doesn't change it, time doesn't change it. It's pretty special to have someone waiting for you like that. I put him way above most people.


I'm not a rich man but if someone sets up a go fund me for this dad I got $5 on it


I hope that man was paid a decent amount for his time. They must live a hard enough life without being exploited for clout, photography awards or some bizarre kind of proof that things could be worse. I really hope this photoshoot benefits them in some way.


I don't think they arrange photoshoots for these types of photos. Whenever I see these segments come up on tv, they're usually just photographers walking around the city and chatting with people for a few mins at a time. I imagine the photographer was exploring the area and saw this scene or he knew the family and stopped by during their play time. Idk, it would be nice if the subjects could get financial support though, they probably need it.


Correct, I am a photographer and this is 99% likely a documentary photograph. He probably had a series based on people affected by war, or a general hardship of life series. He either spoke to the people and followed them around for a while and watched them live their lives, or its more of an in passing "street" photo.


That would be ideal.


I am watching youtube channel of a famous war correspondent journalist who has seen unbelievable shit since 1975, including wars, airplane kidnappings, shootings, demonstrations, etc. He is quite legend. Anyways in several short videos he says, most of the time they just keep shooting not even properly looking at the visor. Their great 10 photos are just handpicked from several hundreds if not thousands of shots. TLDR: These are not staged (mostly). They are just randomly catched images.




You don't have to dedicate your life to photography to snap incredible human moments. Most of the social media stuff is pretty recycled though.


This is a silly thing to say since that comparison was never made


real photography is about the art, not clout


then this would win for the photo not the content lol. plus humans just love seeing people in suffering as long as they don’t see the suffering. there’s a term for this type of photography.


Do you think it would win if it wasn't a good photograph? Like, if it was smudged with a finger on it and from a weird angle


Disgusting display of misery porn. The retarded Americans and westerners can't satisfy themselves only with distroying Syria, they also have to play this narcissistic moralistic game where they pretend they care about the individuals trapped there.




Most people absolutely take their health for granted until the day they don't have it intact. I have a chronic illness that I'm reminded of 24/7, yet it pales in comparison to the problems of these folks. Not that it's any kind of contest. We all deal with the hand we're dealt. Point is, cherish your health. It's worth more than just about anything.


Looks like I’m picking biomechanics as a subject, prosthetics for everyone!


Earlier today I was complaining about my hour long commute to work. Now, I feel like shit


When good kids are born like this but evil people lead a long pampered life is why i dont believe in a benevolent, omniscient god.


Yeah I don’t believe famine or war or birth defects are part of god’s plan and if god’s plan *does* include toddlers with cancer and all the other horrors of the world god can fuck right off. People want to believe but dude it’s just so damn self serving. Yeah buddy, god could give two shits if a few million people starve to death at the whim of some dictator but he’s watching over *you* to make sure you nail that interview on Tuesday.


Exactly my sentiments. Dude's not curing children of cancer, ending sex slavery, fixing climate change, but sure buddy, he's gonna help you find your keys. \[eyeroll\] Either god doesn't exist, or he's a sick, sadistic fuck. Either way, I'm not interested.


I spent the day yesterday with a woman who "totally believes in Jesus". We were on a business trip together. 7:00am to 11:00 pm. She recently lost her mom. She kept asking me what I believed. While she also kept saying her mom was with God. I told her I'm an agnostic, I can't know 100% that a deity does or does not exist but that I lean heavily to the not exist side. She was deeply offended.


You just believe in one less god than she does.


So much for brotherly love and compassion..


You just believe in one less god than she does.




i believe that would make you a Deist. which is basicly, god is a Sims player who set the free-will slider to max and then just sits back to see what wacky shit we get into.


So, it's just a way to bounce off ideas with yourself to self-help. You don't need a God to do that 🤔


People believing in any god are all crazy. Apart from the almighty spaghetti monster of course.


I think you are missing the point of God, many people believe is just \*the\* creator; not representative of goodness or evil; merely a balance of nature of the sorts. ​ Or possibly, in the grand scheme of things, what seems like major issues for us actually are inconsequential.


Ok so why create it in the first place? That’s a stupid argument. God created cancer for children? Why?




More than that, this boy was born without limbs BECAUSE the Syrian dictator used chemical weapons on his own people. These people's lives are way harder because Bashar al-Assad decided not to give up riches and power, and Putin and a few other evil assholes decided to make allies with him. It's a terrible rate of exchange to for pain. There are millions of kids suffering lifelong disabilities so al-Assad can keep living the good life for a few more decades and autocrats get one less voice opposing them.


In my athiest view (such that it is) i can still call that man a villain based upon the morals that I hold. No money or power is worth the suffering of children. Money and power should be used to uplift needy children and families. If i am able to climb a hill and still am not tired, I should lend a hand to lift those behind me up to my level.


In a large part, that's a problem with the development Christianity has taken toward the deity being an immanent, omnipotent force with which one can have a "personal relationship". The original conception of the Christian God was rooted in Middle Platonism, in which God was a transcendent being who existed outside the universe and did not directly meddle with the corrupt earthly realm — hence the need for divine intermediaries like angels and Jesus.


Jesus poppin in and out that one time clearly didnt do enough either because we now have priests teaching wealth is good.


I wouldn't even be mad to go to hell if they end up there with me.


I agree to that. From deep in my heart I’m glad someone understands.


If you want free will then this is how life works


how do you know its a good kid from a picture, an evil kid would look the same


What an awesome picture, and what an awesome couple :)


Fuck man As a father it made me tear up, shit


So disadvantaged, but still capable of love and joy.




So… do the father and son get anything other than being recognized as the subjects of an award winning photograph based on struggle? I mean, don’t get me wrong , I love the pic but something tells me that’s the last we’ll see/hear of them


I'm sure the US military industrial complex and the dirty war in Syria had nothing to do with this.


That area of the world had been peaceful for thousands of years until the Americans came along and destroyed the tranquility of the Middle East.


In WW1 the first place the UK sent troops was to the middle east. The UK are the ones who put fundamentalist Wahhabis in power in KSA. The US has taken over supporting them and backed Sunni terrorists to destroy Libya and Syria and keep Iraq fractured. Yes, the west has a lot to do with it. The US has troops in Syria illegally right now, and we are preventing them from rebuilding or even profiting from their own oil or getting food from their farm region.


I came here to pry, not to cry


Such pure love energy radiating between them…I’ma go hug up my son now :)


May God bless and keep them both. This is so uplifting, grateful to have seen it.


This guy shouldn't fight alone. Humans as a species should give those type of people more help than just a few words of encouragements.


Unpopular opinion. I'm not a fan of horrible poverty and luck as art. If this photo makes 1 dollar...that dollar needs to go directly to this man. End of.


Is his son's name Bob?


Sad as fuck


Is there a photography-related reason for this being photo of the year?


Yeah, I find it very dissapointing that you can win by finding the most disabled people you can find and taking a very normal photo.


Reddit also works this way with karma. Want some karma? Just exploit the disabled and mentally handicapped!


You’re missing the fact that there’s more to a photograph than just the way it was taken. The subject is important too. The themes and context are important too. Your comment is analogous to saying that cinematography is the most important thing in films. I agree that there’s a tendency to use disabled or poor people as the subjects. But in this case, I’d easily let it pass. The war in Syria is horrible. Capturing a moment like this is still great IMO.


I’m kind of with you. At the risk of sounding like a pretentious ass, I don’t think this is a good shot. I has a messy background that distracts from the subjects and isn’t particularly well composed with the branches on the tree being directly behind the boy. I like how they’re posed, but the smiles in their faces are the real point of interest and they’re a pretty small part of the frame. They also don’t seem centered to me and the lighting feels a bit artificial. Taking my photog hat off though, this is just a wholesome shot and I hope the recognition helps these two in some way


I'm going to assume that the Siena International Photo Awards is more about the message than the photo, because that easily could have just been a simple smartphone shot.


i love the juxtaposition of "the hardship of life" met with nothing but smiles


Powerful. Never take for granted the things we have.. life is good. This is amazing




Everything great about this photo has a everything to do with the people in it and nothing to do with whoever pointed their camera at it, and yet the photographer is the one getting an award and enjoying our celebration.


Was it genetic?


Is there a way to help send support this family?


What a hypocrite world. Instead of helping poor people we celebrate the picture and award the photographer. We make awards and events from people misery.


This is beautiful


The kid looks so happy too. Good for them for being able to appreciate life.


I am laying down next to my sleeping 6 months old daughter at the moment, this hits hard! No matter how fussy or cranky she gets, my wife and I always say, there are people going through hell with a smile at the moment…


reckon you could get some serious distance with a tight spin on that


God damn. I take a lot for granted.


Hardship of being the target of the world’s most powerful military to justify wasting more money on defense contractors


Right now, we have troops there ILLEGALLY, occupying their farming and oil regions so we can starve them and deny them income to rebuild their country. And we have them under extreme sanctions, as our government admitted, because we are opposed to them rebuilding. And somehow isis and other Sunni terrorists plaguing syrians only seem to survive in areas we control. How odd. We will continue punishing the people of Syria until they cave in to our demands and they become another success story, like our great interventions in Iraq, Libya, Haiti, Yemen, etc. So expect more pictures of the year until we get what we want, or just give up after 20 years.


On the bright side, think of the money they must save by not having to buy shoes.


Back in 2012 people on Reddit was pretty pro war in Syria. This is the result. Seems like there's a clear pattern of people wanting war, then seeing it happen, then no wanting it anymore. Afghanistan, Iraq, Syria, etc.




The subject is powerful, but the photo itself feels pretty underwhelming. Uninteresting composition, central framing, etc. I’m not trying to be a redditor here, but I feel like even as a low-tier amateur I can see how to improve this shot. Just a crop would do some good—how many zoomed in to see the facial expressions better?


I see it a bit differently. I checked his other work. He seems to have a very wide range of subjects, very nice shots, lots of landscapes and very commercial. Almost as if he's deliberately shooting stock photos, or covers for National Geographic. He doesn't come across as a photojournalist to me. Maybe it's an unfair judgement but it leads me to think that it's been staged, but carefully staged to appear spontaneous. And this is where it fails to work for me. The pose is a bit of a cliche. It's an almost irresistible shot for parents with their new kids, and I do find myself torn. On the one hand, if staged, it feels exploitative. But on the other hand... suppose the cliche was totally deliberate. That he decided to use that to put them in a situation we all take for granted. I found myself wondering about the logistics.. did he have to balance himself on the crutch carefully before he attempted this, or can he just pull this off as casually as you or I might. Either way, I'm thinking about it. Now I'm confused. Maybe it's actually a better photo than I originally thought.


This a great take for me, as I find a lot of art becomes more interesting with context. Depending on the philosophy of the awarding committee I can see it going either way. It’s not a great artistic piece, but the full context makes a different point (assuming you’re right about staging it).


I didn't want to say anything, but yeah. Great moment, but it looks like they wound up a funsaver for the shot.


Love, empathy and perserverence is the most human of all traits. To spread happiness and enjoy the little moments in life like the one pictured is what I think the meaning of life is. I wish more of the world felt the same.


As a father myself, a father’s love has no bounds. It’s difficult, but the smiles, laughs, and “I love you” are the absolute best. Even lllll


Even a father with one leg can lift a son with no limbs at all.


Holy shit Mr. Oblong?


As a daddy, i Fuckin love them both.


Yet you have these snotty kids complaining about not having the latest iPhone


This hit me. Beautiful pic. They are a gift to each other.


This is a very good friend of mine and is 100% proof determination overcomes anything. https://lookmomnohands.com/about-rhp/


This made me feel sick to my stomach. What a horrible world we live in...




"A Sadist and Their Victim"


That's how you can lost a leg in Syria .or die. Be careful the video is very NSFL https://www.reddit.com/r/syriancivilwar/comments/qdmov2/extremely_nsfl_video_showing_saa_artillery/


How did they lose their limbs?


Is it not just cruel and inhumane to make him suffer his whole life? unless they didn't know he would be like this


Made me cry


Fatherhood pays no price! This kid has all the love he will ever need, just from one man. He father.


Pure love and joy standing precariously on one leg. I couldn't even think of a better metaphor for the situation.


That boy gert!


I know the story in the photo all too well


Seriously, this picture is too heavy. The shit that humans do for greed / religion / political and ruins others. I really wish that maybe in few hundred years or so, we all be under 1 nation and look into space instead.


Is the photo award about photography skills? or sympathy?


Ya know, life would be a lot less difficult if people with a family history of serious birth defects adopted kids instead of being selfish.


In general you are correct, this kid however was born like this because his mom took heavy medication to stay alive after a nerve gas attack by the regime in Syria, OP should've included this.


And the father lost his leg due to a bomb, not genetics...


wow thank you for the context


I am trying to justify it in my head why do people even gamble with life like this its sad asf


Like I said, it’s selfishness. Wanting a kid who looks like you, even though that kid’s life is gonna be hard and he’s gonna struggle to survive when you’re no longer around.


For fucks sake, people keep making really cynical and frankly disrespectful assumptions and it’s fucking depressing. At least check the rest of the god damn thread. The father didn’t have a birth defect, he got his leg blown off by a god damn bomb. And the kid wasn’t born that way for genetic reasons, his prenatal development was impaired as an unforeseen consequence of medication the pregnant mother had to take to survive the after effects of a *Syrian nerve gas attack.*


Maybe you should read the actual story before shitting on some people missing their limbs, shitheel.


I think it's immoral to force that kid to live in this world. Imagine how devastating it will be when he fully realizes his situation. And honestly, I believe that man is a monster for prioritizing his own selfish desires instead of considering the life of misery that kid now has to experience, assuming they knew before birth. If they didn't then that's a different situation.


> assuming they knew before birth. I mean, they probably didn’t. I’m guessing access to prenatal ultrasounds in the setting of war-torn Syria isn’t that great. And they may not have been able to get an abortion even if they wanted one. Plus an abortion is the decision of the pregnant woman, not the potential father.


it’s sort of too late to complain now. The kid is born, and the dad isn’t a monster. The best he can do is to ensure the best possible future for his son. The best we can do is help people like them. Im pro choice and I can agree with you that if parents know their child is gonna be born with a condition that fucks up the QoL of the kid, then they should have the option to abort.


You are 100% correct.


that kid is literally built like a potato


why tho theres nothing special about this


Poverty porn. Rich arseholes making themselves feel better by exploiting people worse off. You think this father/son give two shits about being in an award winning photo?


Kid looks happy as fuck, he must be a fantastic father.


To smile in those conditions! Happiness


I would shake that kids hand if I could


My feet (feed I mean).today is full of things that at this point make me not being able to hold the tears. What is going on? Edit: "(feed I mean)" - I don't know how to strikethrough a word...


This hit me quick. Some Friday Feels.


Shit, I still thought all day it's Thursday. Probably because some neighbors keep slacking with trash. I don't like when one day escapes me. It all only adds to the weirdness of today day.


Happens to the best of us.


I think you mean "*also* to the best of us". Best of anything is so far that is not even within my scope lol


Hate me all you want, but kids with disabilities shouldn't be allowed to be born, unless is a minor one that wouldn't effect quality of life much or it could be fixed surgically


It's not our choice besides if your going to complain about the delivary dont put the order in


fuck the humanity that causes wars like this


Most popular president in recent US history, Nobel peace prize winner! Respected and admired! And his war-loving neocon buddy took the presidency with the most votes ever! Too many Americans just do not give a shit what happens outside their own borders. Except they'll say "awww, that's too bad" if they see something like this. All the antigascists and antiracists idolizing and supporting presidents that funded neonazi militia and caused black African genocide and slave markets. The slave markets are still doing business, btw. You will find very few people in America who holds those leaders accountable nor could care at all. Maybe we'll invade Haiti again.