New footage emerged of Omran Daqneesh, the boy whose picture went viral after he was pulled from the rubble following an airstrike in Aleppo last August. The 5-year-old boy sat quietly alone in the back of an ambulance after narrowly escaping the attack that killed his 10-year-old brother, and the image of a shocked Omran covered in dust and blood inadvertently made him the face of the Syrian conflict.
Kinana Allouche, a pro-Syrian government television presenter with the Al Mayadeen TV channel, caught up with Omran and his family, and the boy appears to he happy, healthy, and doing well.
But this interview was not conducted without controversy. Kinana Allouche is known widely as a pro-Assad journalist who spins stories while covering the news in Syria. Last April, Allouche famously posted smiling selfies next to the dead bodies of slain rebel soldiers on social media. In the past, Omran's family has refused interviews with the press, and many are now wondering if Allouche or the Syrian government used coercion or intimidation tactics to score the interview and use Omran as propaganda.
In the interview, Omran’s father Mohammad Kheir Daqneesh tells Allouche that he did not hear a plane above his house before the strike. He also noted that he changed his son’s name and his hairstyle to in order to protect his identity, particularly from rebels who threatened to kidnap him.
Despite the questionable political implications involved with the interview, it is nice to see that Omran is doing well nearly a year after his terrifying brush with death.