#10YearChallenge: Hashtag used to highlight war and suffering

Viral craze used by social media users to highlight the destruction across several Middle East countries.

Women walk past rubble of damaged buildings in Raqqa
Women walk past the rubble of damaged buildings in Raqqa, Syria [Aboud Hamam/Reuters]

The #10YearChallenge and #GlowUpChallenge have gone viral on social media this week, with millions of people sharing current photos next to what they looked like a decade ago.

While most of the craze has been for fun, Twitter, Facebook and Instagram users have also seized on the viral craze to address issues they say are far more important than selfies.

The hashtags have been used to highlight the destruction carried out by Arab governments and foreign powers across several Middle East countries since the Arab Spring in 2011.

Arab nations revolted with mixed results following protests that erupted against autocratic regimes in Tunisia, Egypt, Libya, Syria and Yemen.

While Tunisia avoided descending into conflict, the revolts in Libya, Syria and Yemen turned violent and into civil wars with European and Western powers becoming primary actors.

Thousands of images have been shared highlighting the devastation caused by the wars, with several users showing the destruction in Syria since an offensive was launched against the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL, also known as ISIS) group.

ANTICONQUISTA, the Communist Party of the Latin American and Caribbean Diaspora, shared a composite image of Libya with the captions saying they were before and after the “Imperialist invasion”, a reference to the NATO-led military intervention that led to the toppling of longtime leader Muammar Gaddafi.

Muniba Mazari, a Goodwill Ambassador at UN Women Pakistan, shared an image of Syria, which has been devastated by eight years of war and led to an estimated 500,000 deaths.

The citizen journalist group, Raqqa is Being Slaughtered Silently, shared a collection of images showing the aftermath of the devastating assault on the place often referred to as the de facto capital of ISIL.

Nadwa Dawsari shared an image of the old city of Sanaa, which showed showing the UNESCO World Heritage site before and after a Saudi-UAE coalition air raid.

Source: Al Jazeera