A picture purportedly showing a young boy sleeping between his parents graves in Syria is not real.
The photo is actually part of a conceptual art project that photographer Abdel Aziz Al-Atibi is creating.
The boy in the photo is his nephew and the photo was taken in Saudi Arabia. There are also no bodies in the graves.
The photo went viral on Reddit and Imgur, getting over one million views.
Al-Atibi is a bit incredulous about how quickly the photo got spread around with the wrong caption.
“Look, it’s not true at all that my picture has anything to do with Syria,” Al-Otaibi told blogger Harald Doornbos. “I am really shocked how people have twisted my picture.”
“I love photography,” he said. “Every artist has ideas in his head. So I had the idea to make a project whereby I show in pictures how the love of a child for his parents is irreplaceable. This love cannot be substituted by anything or anybody else, even if the parents are dead.”
To make sure people didn’t get the wrong idea, Al-Atibi posted other pictures of his nephew smiling next to the fake graves. But to no avail, as the viral photo was mislabeled and spread quickly.
The photo was first posted by an American Muslim convert, according to Doorbos. When Al-Atibi asked the convert why he claimed it was an image from Syria, the man replied:
“Why don’t you just let go and claim it is a picture from Syria and gain a reward from God. You are exaggerating.”
The convert later deleted his tweet.
“I am really very annoyed by this,” Al-Atibi said. “It is just not fair to take one of my photos totally out of context and use it for your own propaganda.”