This heartbreaking image has been shared so often on Facebook, Twitter, or even via emails, it must have broken some kind of record. More so when the story behind it was said to be thus :
Heartbreaking image by an Iraqi artist taken in an orphanage. This little girl has never seen her mother, so she drew a mom on the ground and fell asleep with her.
Another version goes like this :
A little orphan pinning for her mum, drew a picture of her on the floor of the Orphanage & promptly lay on her “mother”s chest and fall asleep, It bought tears in to my eyes in the quiet of the night. Treasure your parents for you don’t know when you will be without them, please.
Wow… That had me crying manly tears of pitiful sorrow over the plight of Iraqi orphans like her. I’m pretty sure many were moved to pray for her deliverance, before wiping away their tears to boast or rant about this or that on Facebook. 😀
Well, I have good news and I have bad news…
Updated @ 2016-03-20 : Added a new version of this hoax, and updated parts of the article.
The Good News
The good news is that little girl is NOT an orphan. In fact, she not only has seen her mother… her mother is alive and well! 😀
In fact, the person who took this picture was her COUSIN, Bahareh Bisheh, who is an Iranian photographer from Isfahan, Iran. This is what Ms. Bisheh has to say about this particular shot :
This little girl is my cousin and she actually fell asleep on the asphalt just outside my house. She must have played for some time and just lied to rest and fell asleep. im used a chair to stand on in order to take this shot. There is no orphanage involved and no tragic story behind this. i took this opportunity to be creative. It is a style of photography You can use my photos in your webblag If you mention my name as the photographer of this photo. thanks to all for the consideration .
So there you have it – the girl is alive and well, and there was no tragic story behind it. In fact, it is part of Bahareh Bisheh’s My Chalky World collection :
Rest assured – no Iraqi children were orphaned in the production of these amazing photos. 😀
Jokes aside, you can take a look at Ms. Bisheh’s phenomenal work in her Flickr page.
The Bad News
The bad news is that many people got fooled by this hoax. Even though this hoax has been debunked umpteen times, it still keeps getting circulated.
And it will keep circulating, as long as people choose to share those fake pictures and stories, instead of articles debunking them. Here is a short list of other hoaxes that we have pointed out and debunked recently :
- The Miracle Of Baby Dominic Pio Gundrum
- Journalism At Its Best – Same Bomb In Different Stories
- Adding Milk To Coca-Cola Is Poisonous?
- Killed By A Charging Mobile Phone?
- Was This Girl Killed By A Power Bank?
- Queen Elizabeth Took A Bus For 2 Days To Protest Fuel Cost
- Breasts Absorb And Analyse Saliva To Produce Better Milk
Why Would People Make Up Stories Like That?
In social media, one of the ways to get Followers, Likes or Shares is to post something controversial. Often, the creator does not care about the truth, much less the provenance of any picture or video. In fact, in many cases, they embellish or change the story completely, in order to drive traffic to their blog, website, Facebook Page, Twitter account, Instagram account, etc.
We have often warned people about the price of that Like or Share on social media, but it often falls on deaf ears. That’s why these hoax posts will continue to be created, liked and shared on social media.
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