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The Children of Syria
Life for children is supposed to be easy, almost like play, but for the children of Syria life has become a game of survival. The sounds of Syria have turned into signals of danger—the chirping of gunshots, the low hum of the injured, and the buzz of bombs being dropped; in one day the children of Syria hear more than they need to, they see more than they need to, and they know more than they can handle.
Life in Syria has become an escape mission for most families. Children do not have access to dental hygiene, medical care, schooling, and proper food.. Many yearn to escape to the U.S (the same country that has dropped many weapons on them), but few make it through the “extreme vetting” process.
For one family in particular, life was a game of escape and they had finally made it to the end. After fleeing war torn Syria they made their way to Great Britain, where they are granted a house, food, and utilities by the government. In Great Britain they found work, their kids found education, and a very pregnant wife found medical care.
Soon after arriving in Europe they were told that they were being sent to the U.S. Although this was great news, they felt bittersweet about moving to a country who helped to create the mess that their country is in today.
The move to America was not easy—they were not given a house or food, and were expected to find work soon in order to have utilities. Their apartment was a room with a kitchen and a bathroom, their bed was non existent, their fridge was empty, but their children were safe. Safety is all they needed for their children, and that’s what they had.
Perhaps the saddest part of this is that these children cannot unhear and unsee everything they experienced in their war torn country. Every afternoon in the houses of refugees we see, through our role as Syrian activists, the children's’ view on the world, and it becomes clear. When we play with them they take violence into their own hands, they take their toys as weapons, not as play things and it becomes clear that war has had an effect on them.
Their actions to everyday objects are that of shock; they’re offered food and they can’t believe it; new clothes and they don’t wear them; new shoes and they never take them off; a new school and they never want to leave. The lasting effects of war.
© 2018 Noor Saleh