Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Children and the War in Syria, by Cecilia Brainard


Children in a war is a topic close to my heart. My first novel, When the Rainbow Goddess Wept, is a coming-of-age story about a young girl, Yvonne, during World War II.  While writing it, even though I was born after the war, it was as if I too had experienced some of the awfulness of that armed conflict. Of course that was fiction.

Right now millions of children are suffering because of the Syrian war. I'm quoting from London-based SAVE THE CHILDREN'S Report, "UNTOLD ATROCITIES: THE STORIES OF SYRIA'S CHILDREN." Save the Children had interviewed children and parents in the refugee camps and communities that are now home to those who have fled the violence in Syria.

Save the Children
1 St. John’s Lane
London ECIM 4AR
Click to view the complete report "Untold Atrocities..."

This following is 14-year-old Hassan’s story:
I was at a funeral when I first heard the rocket that caused a massacre. I think it was targeting the funeral. My cousin and my uncle died that day.

Dead bodies along with injured people were scattered on the ground. I found body parts all over each other; and when we reached the mosque we found tens and tens of dead bodies there. We started to rescue people in need.

Dogs were eating the dead bodies for two days after the massacre. There were tons of people in the mosque too. They were dead, all of them. I was afraid, of course I was afraid.

I was devastated. I hated my life, and I hated myself. I lost my uncle and my cousin, Me and my cousin used to do everything together, and I lost him – my cousin used to stand always by my side.

My house was burnt down. Everything was gone. I wanted to run in, but I couldn’t – it was still too hot. I looked around and everyone was so devastated, no-one could look at each other.

The children in Syria need help. They need help because they are being tortured, shelled, shot at. They take children and put them in front of them. They create a human shield of children. They know that people in the town will not shoot their own children. I saw this with my own eyes.

I want children of Syria to escape. They should run away so they don’t die in the shelling.

What do I remember of Syria? I remember that whenever shelling took place we ran to a shelter. Inside, children shouted and wept a lot, they were so afraid. I remember so many children were being tortured.

Because of what is happening in Syria we don’t play anymore. I miss my home. I miss my neighbourhood. I miss playing football. 

I ask the leaders all around the world to save the children in Syria, save them from all the shelling. Children need medicine. We need clothes, and food. Every child should play and be happy. I am worried about the future. What will happen to us? Where will we go?

It is painful to look at these pictures of massacred children, but maybe we all should, so we realize just how much these children are impacted by the war in Syria.(photos courtesy of The Syrian Revolution 2011)

I apologize for such a grim blog entry, but I've been thinking about this war and other wars, and how civilians are the ones who suffer most. War leaves behind destruction that takes decades to repair. And the deaths of course are permanent scars to those left behind.
 Here are links regarding Children and the Syrian War

The list goes on: Google,  Syria War Children

P.S.  And still the children can smile! (photo from The Syrian Revolution 2011)

tags: Syria, war, children, conflict, revolution, Homs, Aleppo, Damascus, Middle East, Civil War, Conflict, Assad, Sunnis, massacre

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