The image has been repeated since mid-August: hundreds of Afghan families fleeing Kabul disembark at safe airports to start a new life away from the Taliban horror . One of these photographs has managed to go viral this week due to the message of hope that it transmits through the gesture of a girl.
The snapshot was taken by Reuters photographer Johanna Geron on August 25 at the Melsbroek military air base in Belgium.
The photograph is the graphic description of the happiness of a girl , whose life would be very different in the hands of the Taliban in Afghanistan : the youngest, in yellow trousers and shirt, smiles as she walks, jumping, behind her parents on the track From the airport.
A girl skips across the tarmac as people evacuated from Kabul arrive at Melsbroek military airport in Belgium, August 25, 2021. REUTERS / Johanna Geron pic.twitter.com/tZAbs9RpZg
– Idrees Ali (@ idreesali114) August 25, 2021
“This is what happens when refugees are protected,” former Belgian Prime Minister Guy Verhofstadt wrote on Twitter. “Welcome to Belgium, little one!” , said the ex-president in a message where he shared the iconic photograph.
This is what happens when you protect refugees …
Welcome to Belgium, little girl!
Wonderful @Reuters picture via @POLITICOEurope pic.twitter.com/v1127frvf9
– Guy Verhofstadt (@guyverhofstadt) August 26, 2021
The girl and her family were part of a group of about 1,400 people that Belgium managed to remove from Kabul after the Taliban took power in the country.
In Spain, the last plane with evacuees from Afghanistan arrived this Friday at the Torrejón de Ardoz air base , which has functioned throughout this time as an entry point for hundreds of Afghans into the European Union.
There, the image of the children is very similar to that shown in other parts of Europe: they are in good health, very smiling, grateful and not very talkative , indicates the state reception coordinator of the Spanish Commission for Refugee Aid ( CEAR), Áliva Díez, who has been receiving and interviewing the families at the Torrejón base.
At the moment, as the beginning of the year is just around the corner, schooling is a “hyper priority” and, in general, there are no problems and all minors access public schools.
Depending on the autonomous community, there are liaison classrooms -which provide reinforcement support when there are language problems-, an intermediate phase where to start before moving on to the ordinary class.
On a psychological level, ” those routines help a lot , having a minimum calendar in which to project your energy on a day-to-day basis, because the uneasiness of staying in a house without even knowing whether to go out, whether to play … that hurts the mind of anyone, “says Diez.
The adaptation of the little ones is usually very fast and they learn the language , “I do not know if it is correct, but the ability to make themselves understood. We are very surprised by the children of Infant and Primary; the adolescent usually takes a greater process because there are already many things mixed: it is not only the language, but the whole break with their routine, “he says.
Upon arrival in Torrejón, explains Díez, the children do not speak much and the main interlocutor is the father or the mother. “In general, children show happiness and a smile as soon as you cover the basics, but whatever is in the background, that will come out a few days later, that doesn’t come out in the first moments, not even in the Adults”.
“It is a survival mechanism : until you are in a safe place your body and your mind does not allow you to bring out the mental duel that you have been able to live, that will begin to come out now after one or two weeks,” says the coordinator state of CEAR.