Sitting on the sidewalk in Istanbul, Turkey, his head is barely above knee height of the adults around him. But he plays on -- for hours, knowing that each coin or note can help his family survive another day.
The family escaped the horrors of war in Aleppo, Syria, and he says they now live in a park. He does not say which park or if they have a tent for shelter at night.
The boy says he has been in Turkey for about a year.
He plays falteringly and his young face looks innocent, but he knows the cruelty of war. He says his dad died in Aleppo, which has seen some of the fiercest fighting in Syria and is a rebel stronghold that President Bashar al-Assad's army has attacked.
The boy, who says he is 6, complains that his head hurts and talks of the guns back in Aleppo.
As he plays on, he is relying on the kindness of strangers and watching for police patrols, as begging on the streets is illegal.
When police do see him -- this time as he walks back to his makeshift home -- an officer confiscates his flute.
But he cannot be kept down. A new flute is $5 -- half is daily profit -- but if he is to play on, if he is to help feed his family, if they are to have some hope, it's a small expense.