Published on Voices

Each Day I See Killing

The young boy stood before his father’s corpse, wailing. He could not believe that his father, who had gone out for breakfast, had ended up dead. He was blown up by a suicide bomber in one of Baghdad’s busiest restaurants in 2005.

I was covering the bombing attack for The Washington Post when I saw the boy becoming another digit in the count of war victims. In the news, he might be a number but in reality he became an orphan whose loss would add to the obstacles of achieving sustainable development.

When I was a reporter in my war-torn country of Iraq, I saw death every single day, in schools, markets, buses, and even worship areas. What is worse is that this is still happening, not only in Iraq but also in many other countries. Conflicts, wars, sectarianism, and racism have become a daily occurrence in the news, and it is just too disturbing.

According to the World Bank, about 1.2 billion people live in countries affected by fragility, while about 800 million people live in developing countries with the highest homicides rates. The fact that over 2 billion people in the developing world are confronted by some form of extreme violence illustrates the nature of the development challenge: Conflict and violence bar the door to development for many countries or strip years from development gains when conflict occurs.

A photo posted by Bassam Sebti (@bassamsebti) on

Each day I see killing. I don’t see peace prevailing. Each day I see a child crying or a woman sobbing. Each day I wonder when this will end – if ever!  

It is our job as global citizens to promote peace and look for prosperity and development. If we want to end poverty, we should start with this. Killing breeds poverty and conflicts have always been a huge obstacle to development. In fact, they destroy what has been achieved.

As a global citizen, if you are willing to make this fight against poverty, I invite you to participate in the World Bank’s Instagram #EachDayISee photo contest. It’s your turn to promote peace and any other development-related issue you want to change, such as corruption or gender inequality, that you see in your community.

Each day I see killing and I want to change that. What do you see that you want to change for the better? Share your Instagram photos with us and all your social networks and tag them #EachDayISee. For complete contest rules, please visit


Bassam Sebti

Arabic-Language Digital Specialist, IFC

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