Hello brother and sister! Welcome back!
It has been six years since peace had left Syria and had been replaced by hypocrisy and atrocity of west and its allies, which then, sent peaceful and beautiful country like Syria (Iraq and Libya too) into chaos in early 2011. Ever since that day, Syrian children and families must face the ugly consequences on what they have never actually done before.
The great conflict results in great casualties. The estimates of deaths in the Syrian War, vary between 301,781 and 470,000. On 23 April 2016, the United Nations and Arab League Envoy to Syria put out an estimate of more than 400,000 that had died in the war itself.
Moreover, conflict within Syria has displaced more than 6.3 million people within the country and 5 million in neighboring countries including Lebanon, Iraq, Jordan, Turkey, and Egypt.
In addition, thousands are attempting to reach Europe by land or sea, about one million have requested asylum to Europe, and with many dying tragically along the way. And, in many cases, children caught up in this crisis have fared the worst, losing family members or friends to the violence, suffering physical and psychological trauma, or falling behind in school.
However, for them who are not lucky enough to sail to Europe, but lucky enough to end up on refugee camps in their neighbors like Lebanon, Jordan and Turkey although their conditions are not better than those in Europe, at least they do not have to face bullet and bomb and terrorist ISIS as they used to do in Syria.
Some images below were taken from refugee camp in Bekaa Valley, Lebanon. If you could see through eyes of a Syrian refugee child, what would life look like? Well, to see it by yourself the rest of the image, please go to worldvision.org
Syrian refugee family warms themselves by a fire in a ditch in front of their tents, burning garbage — mostly plastic — to stay warm. West Bekaa, Lebanon, close to the Syrian border.
Hamad and his family, including ten children ages 2 to 17, live in tents made of tarps on the fringes of agricultural land in West Bekaa, Lebanon. Nearby are large peach and apple orchards and fields where sheep graze. Hamad says there are 300 refugees living in this area.
“We came here from Syria four years ago,” Hamad says. “We rent this place to live and we work in the fields for money. But this time of year there is no farm work,” he says. “Without regular work, I’ve fallen into debt for rent and food.”
A cold February wind blows from the snow-covered mountains nearby. As the late afternoon light fades and the temperature drops, the family and neighbors gather in a roadside ditch in front of their shelters to warm themselves by a bonfire. Black, oily and foul-smelling smoke billows from the flames. The fire is fueled with trash they’ve gathered, most of it plastics.
The family received a water tank and latrine from World Vision, but there is no water delivery in the area.
Syrian refugee children play with a card box at Rajab, an Informal Tented Settlement in Lebanon’s Bekaa Valley turns from fun to a squabble that ends in rock throwing. Rain turns the camp into a mud pit. It’s hard for children to find a place to play.
Winter rains and tractor traffic turn the alley ways and entrance to the settlement into slippery, rutted bog. When the sun comes out, children come out to play and mothers hang out laundry. Children who only have rubber slippers find it hard to walk in the muddy places.
Families build shelters with wood frames and plastic tarps on land that they rent in the settlement. The attempt to heat their poorly insulated living area with oil heaters. Over time, some are able to invest in raised concrete flooring to help keep them dry.
World Vision has provided families with toilets and water tanks and delivers water in the settlement. The organization also provides food assistance through a WFP project and operates an Early Childhood Education center in Rajab for children ages 3 to 6.
Syrian refugee children play games they learned from World Vision while waiting for the World Vision bus to come and take them to a Child Friendly Space or Early Education Center.
Scenes from an informal tented settlement (ITS) for Syrian refugees, near Zahle’ in Bekaa, Lebanon. Many of the children here attend a World Vision Child Friendly Space and Early Education Center. The camp includes recent refugees from ISIS controlled territory.
Recently escaped from militia held territory, Syrian refugee girl, Rahaff, 5, with her doll in an informal tented settlement in Bakaa, Lebanon. Mom – Khadija Daughter – Rahaff, 5 Son – Ahmed, 2 (not in photos) Khadija and her two children escaped from Syria to Lebanon five months ago.
They came from a region that was under the control of militants who declared that no one was allowed to leave. Her husband paid a smuggler $250 so that she and the children were smuggled out through back country in a pickup truckload of sheep.
“Food had become so expensive that we couldn’t afford it,” says Khadija. “When they [the militant group] took control, they made many rules and changed them frequently to be stricter. It was very dangerous for women.
If a woman got caught in public without a man from her family, she would be taken to the mosque. Then they would go to pick up the guys from her family and beat them, throw them in prison, or kill them.”
“It is much better for us here, even though we have no assistance,” she says. Khadija and her children share a tent with her husband’s nephew and his family. Her husband stayed behind to take care of other family members.
Tug of war makes class fun! With its spacious, clean, sunlit rooms and bright, colorful decorations, this World Vision Child-Friendly Space in the Bekaa Valley, Lebanon, offers a stark contrast to the tent settlements and dreary housing where the Syrian refugee children live.
The refugee children start the day with songs and exercises. They sing at the top of their lungs in English and Arabic: “Good morning to you! I’m happy to see you.” Singing, physical activity, and artwork bring joy to Syrian refugee children who participate in a Child-Friendly Space.
Refugee children and the animators made the colorful artwork. They demonstrate their mastery of colors, numbers, and shapes by naming them in English. “We make it fun to learn,” says Christine, one of their teachers.
The children arrive on World Vision buses from refugee centers. Women escorts ride the bus both to pick them up and drop them off. They encourage parents who are reluctant to let the children go and they make sure all the children return home safely. Sometimes children as young as 7 have to go to work in the potato fields instead of coming to the CFS.
Ali, a Syrian refugee boy in the Bekaa Valley of Lebanon, sells tissues on the street to earn money for his family. He is the sole wage earner. His family lives in the Rajab Informal Tented Settlement.
Ali works to support the family and doesn’t attend school. He sells tissues on the busy Beirut to Damascus road. He makes at most $4 a day, which goes toward rent and other family expenses. He is often harassed as he stands on the roadside.
Ali’s story was the focus of a WVUS video by Tom Costanza and Nathan Shain, and will be featured in a VR production by WVUS.
Enthusiastic singing at a Child Friendly Space and Early Childhood Education center for Syrian Refugee children, and informal tented settlement for Syrian refugees. Near Zahle’ in Bekaa, Lebanon.
What have these children done so that they must weigh the burden of the war they did not have anything to do with? Where is the sense of humanity from the choosen people whom sit on the parliament? Where is the sympathy of every one whom get their hands involved in this destruction? Why the people just passed by and acted up like nothing happened?
When men sow hypocrisies and atrocities, it is the children whom must reap its fruits first. The children then bear the obligation to purge the land from evil parasites, so that God may granted them His blessing and let them running the land, as long as they are working for His purpose, good purpose.
Hopefully, truth will find its way to the world. May God strengthen all Syrian children, end all conflicts and bring peace to Syria and to the whole world, amen brother and sister.
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