Images: Florian Seriex and Natalie Abu-Eisheh
Syria, 7 years on
To mark the 7th anniversary of the outbreak of civil war, we're sharing the stories of 7-year-old children who have fled Syria with their families and now live in the Azraq camp, Jordan.
Mar 14 2018
Since the start of the conflict, over 5 million Syrians have fled to neighbouring countries. Fleeing violence and terror, they leave behind homes and schools. One of the countries that has seen the biggest influx of Syrian refugees is neighbouring Jordan. At the outbreak of the civil war in 2011, approximately 2000 Syrians were crossing the border into Jordan every day.
Action Against Hunger quickly identified the desperate need for humanitarian assistance and set up programmes in Jordan to support Syrian refugees and some of the most vulnerable Jordanian communities. We have a team of 400 aid workers, supporting families and communities with practical programmes and psychosocial care to ensure their needs are met.
More than half of the millions of displaced Syrian people are children, thousands of which have known nothing but this devastating war.
To mark the seventh year of conflict in Syria, we are sharing the stories of seven, seven-year-old children who have lived their whole lives in instability. Kafaá, Wassim, Noor, Mohammad, Ayman, Mohammad-Wisam and Sahar spoke to Natalie Abu-Eisheh, the Communications Officer of the the Action Against Hunger Middle East office, about their favourite toys. All of these children have fled Syria with their families and now live in the Azraq camp in Jordan.
Kafaá’s favourite toy is this little car because she loves road trips and nature. She imagines driving all over Syria in her little car, seeing the beautiful scenery. She tells us about the house they left behind in Syria, she says it had real walls and was so much nicer than the cramped caravan they now live in, in the Azraq camp.
Wassim’s favourite toy is this plastic lion because it makes him feel strong when he holds it. He doesn’t remember much about Syria, but his parents often tell him stories about how beautiful it is and how he would have loved the playing in the garden in the house they left behind. He dreams of going back one day.
Noor’s favourite toy is her doll because it was a gift from a Grandma Amina. Noor has named her doll Amina after her grandma. She says, “I don’t treat her like a doll, I treat Amina like a friend”. Her memories of Syria are of her playing with cousins among big, beautiful trees by their house.
Mohammad’s favourite toy is this fish. His father was a fisherman and one day Mohammad hopes to be just like him. He points out that his toy fish has a special helmet to keep him extra safe. Mohammad’s relatives send him photos of their neighbourhood and the birds that fly around in Syria.
Ayman’s favourite toy is this red airplane because it’s his favourite colour and he loves imagining flying over to Syria. Ayman misses the two rabbits they left behind in their home in Syria. He would love to get some rabbits one day.
Mohammad-Wisam loves this beaded necklace. He enjoys swinging it around his head and waving it when he dances ‘Dabkeh’, a traditional Middle Eastern dance while listening to old Syrian Songs. Mohammad-Wisam wants to go back to Syria to visit his grandfather, who he was names after, who still lives there.
Sahar’s favourite toy is this little squirrel because her cousin has a matching one and they have promised each other to stay friends forever. Sahar remembers Syria as a green and beautiful place, filled with trees and grass. She would love to go back and run through its fields.
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