Can Pokémon get the World to Care about Syria?

By Kate Roff

Pokémon Go became a global craze this year, but one artist from Aleppo, Syria, asked: Could Pokémon get the world to care about Syria?

Khaled Akil took AFP images of children in Syria and superimposed characters from the game creating Pokémon Go Syria, to remind the world that not all children are playing.

"It's hard when you see a kid, and instead of going to school he is just standing in a shelter – shaking," Mr Akil told Peace News.

"No matter which part of the city, or opposition, or regime - a kid is a kid, he's an innocent."

Mr Akil said he was overwhelmed with the response to his work, and that he didn’t anticipate this much global focus when he released the series.

“The role of any artist is to express his or her feelings, through art, and basically that’s what I felt, Mr Akil said.

“I did not aim to get anything out of it – it was just what I felt.”

Mr Akil has fled to Turkey because of the war, but he said he hopes to return to his homeland.

"For Syria I hope this war will end soon," he said.

"Sooner or later, I and other Syrians will return back, and we will build it again."

To see more of Mr Akil’s work, visit his website here.

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