Take a minute to look at the details of the comic book panel above.
The water spills on the tiled floor.
The carelessly-uncovered bathroom drain led.
The laundry, piled neatly amidst so much squalor.
The woman, hand-washing laundry, clinging to what may be the last remnant of normal life, even though hopelessness is clear in her body language: clean clothes.
This panel is from “Madaya Mom”, a comic book just released by Marvel, which was influenced by actual correspondence with a mother-of-five in the besieged town of Madaya, Syria.
It is the woman’s hopelessly ironic clinging to sanitation that drives this painful comic home. You see, Syrian women are known to be borderline OCD when it comes to cleanliness, often forgoing all common sense to ensure that there isn’t a speck of dust anywhere they can see or cannot see.
“Madaya Mom” is a brilliant initiative from Marvel and ABC News. It reminds of Art Spiegelman’s Holocaust masterpiece, “Maus”.
You can read the comic book for free online.
Sometimes, it’s hard to keep in perspective how horrifyingly close I am to helping Madaya Mom and her five children. You know, they’re just a couple of hours drive away. But light years unreachable.