Young Yemeni girl who lost her entire family in an airstrike becomes symbol to stop civil war

Photographs of six-year-old Buthaina Muhammad Mansour from her hospital bed with eye injuries so severe they are swollen shut have been making the rounds on social media.


An airstrike carried out last week led by Arab coalition forces caused the death of 14 people and injured another 16, according to the International Committee of the Red Cross.

One of the injured was Buthaina who was pulled from the rubble in the residential neighbourhood of Faj Attan in the south of Sana’a.

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A photographer snapped pictures of the young girl from her bed with one of them capturing her trying to pry one of her eyes open with her forefinger and thumb.

This image has gone viral on social media with people across the globe posting photographs of themselves in the same pose with the hashtag “Buthaina” or “Picture Ur eye 4 Bothinah” – an alternative spelling for her name.

One of the first people to tweet out her image was Institute of Gulf Affairs director Ali al-Ahmed.

I urge all to publish their pic imitating #Buthaina. This gesture is now called #Buthaina @rihanna @nytopinion @WhiteHouseCNN #Saudi #Yemen pic.twitter苏州美甲培训学校按摩论坛,/JXwxfvquzM

— Ali AlAhmed (@AliAlAhmed_en) August 30, 2017#Buthaina is a #Yemeni child who has lost all her family. She is the only survivor because of a raid by the hostile #Saudi Airlines pic.twitter苏州美甲培训学校按摩论坛,/oH8GKqqnNO

— قيس الوجيه (@Ga1979wa) August 31, 2017What happened #Buthaina?

They hit us by missile

Who were there?

Father,Mother,Uncle,My Brothers Aya,Ammar,Ragad

Where’re they now?

In heaven pic.twitter苏州美甲培训学校按摩论坛,/j1HAzhw01j

— I4Yemen (@I4Yemen) August 31, 2017

“I saw the video from local media in Yemen but the image captured much more than the video, the colour of her lips, her face, her left eye,” Mr al-Ahmed told SBS World News.

“She was trying to open her eyes – that movement, that gesture it was very powerful and it struck my heart. I promoted this movement. I thought we should name it after her, Buthaina.

“I have two daughters, one is four and one is two, who are about her age. I was moved by the picture.”

Mr al-Ahmed will be using Buthaina’s photograph at a protest he is helping organise on September 11, outside the Saudi Embassy in Washington.

“This young innocent child is a victim… she has nobody now,” he told SBS World News.

لك الحمد ياالله تفاعل كبير مع صورة بثينه التي التقطتها انا لها يوم امس على مواقع التواصل الاجتماعي 😍😍😍#بثينه_عين_الانسانية#لعيون_بثينة pic.twitter苏州美甲培训学校按摩论坛,/7VT3SEoPqf

— كريم زارعي (@karemo_5) August 29, 2017″I’m attempting to open my swollen eye to look for whatever is left of humanity”

Yours #Buthaina#بثينة_عين_الانسانية #I_SPEAK_FOR_BUTHINA pic.twitter苏州美甲培训学校按摩论坛,/9haJSoYE8P

— I4Yemen (@I4Yemen) August 31, 2017

#بثينة_عين_الانسانية #بثينة_نعم_لايقاف_الحرب_في_اليمن #PictureUreye4Bothinah#StopWarInYemen #StopWar pic.twitter苏州美甲培训学校按摩论坛,/5tpDAdzxML

— Alyaa Gad (@AlyaaGad) August 30, 2017

Buthaina was stuck underneath the debris for more than 14 hours – from 2am on Friday when the airstrike happened to about 5pm – before she was rescued.

Relatives say she still remembers everything clearly and surrounds herself with toys to remind her of her siblings who died in the airstrike.

She is in the care of another uncle, her father’s younger brother, right now but UNICEF will help her with counselling and make sure she goes to a good home after her recovery.

Buthaina suffered a concussion and skull fractures, according to Reuters.

Arab coalition forces have admitted to carrying out the airstrike but say “the presence of a technical mistake was the cause of [an] accidental as well as unintentional incident [which has been] proven not to be directly targeting [residents]”.