A Tragedy Too Far

Those of you who travel on public transport will know of the shortage of seats and how more often than not, the seat next to you is taken up by an abandoned newspaper.

Last Friday, I caught the 1:49 PM train and happened to pick up the newspaper sprawled open besides me. It has been a while since then and I can’t remember exactly which paper it was, but I noticed something quite frightening about myself. Whilst scanning my eyes over each story and turning the folded corners of the paper, I noted how I barely flinched at the bloodcurdling segments I was reading.

People becoming desensitised to the atrocities taking place in the world is one of the scariest things I could ever imagine. Yes I did feel sympathy towards the victims in last week’s paper, of course I did. But the truth is that years of desensitisation had left me reading a section on war almost as calmly as I read the weather.

The emotions one feels whilst reading something are entirely unique to the individual, so where I can’t judge how other people must have felt whilst reading the paper, what I can say is that bloodshed has become ‘normalised’.


The violence we witness on the news everyday has left us feeling almost emotionless. The imagery we are made to witness on a daily basis and the brutality we are exposed to becomes seemingly normal.

However, the harsh reality is that for people living in war zones and affected countries – the norm will never feel normal. It’s easy to forget what others are going through, it’s easy to put their cries behind us and think of them as someone else’s problem.

In 2015 alone 20,034 civilian deaths had been reported in Iraq. According to the IISS Armed Conflict Survey 2014 saw around 180,000 fatalities world wide.

We pile facts into our textbooks and stack them onto our shelves before stamping them as a ‘tragedy’.

This is a reminder to myself before anyone else. The samllest amount of charity or anti-war protest makes a difference.

Put yourself in someone else’s shoes.

Thank you for reading, feedback/suggestions would be greatly appreciated.


About the Photographer: Anum is a psychology student who resides in Karachi. She aims to capture the essence of human emotions in a single image, though her ventures are not limited to Pakistan, being an international student has widened her audience and subjects all the way to England. Her Instagram gallery is a rare treat @anumsidiqi


3 thoughts on “A Tragedy Too Far

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