Ahead of Tonight’s Debate, the Children of Aleppo Have Some Questions for the Candidates

"Don't you think it's wrong that little children are dying?"

By the time tonight’s debate is over, there will be an accounting of all the questions that went unasked, questions that never made it to this debate, or any other.

With foreign affairs and immigration both serving as topic areas for some of moderator Chris Wallace‘s questions tonight, there is a good chance Syria will make its way into the debate, but not like in the Huffington Post video below. Here it is Aleppo’s children who ask the questions, dressed in brightly colored outfits that make the gray, bombed out ruins behind them a sharper, more deeply felt contrast.

This is how this video came to be, from Huffington Post’s Christopher Mathias:

The Huffington Post worked with freelance journalists in Aleppo to let children answer this question on camera: “If you could ask the US presidential candidates one question, what would it be?” The kids weren’t coached, and filmed their answers only during daylight hours, when it was safe to go outside. They looked directly into the camera and conveyed the urgency of their ordeal. Mostly, they wanted to know when they’d be saved.

“My request is: Stop the planes. Stop the shooting. End the siege.”

The children represent the human costs of both action and inaction in Syria, rather than the more dispassionate policy questions the candidates will probably get, that in the brief time available for answers are likely neither to capture the extent of on-the-ground suffering nor the complexity and nuance necessary to formulate an effective foreign policy approach.

Watch below.