Ranim Barakat, a nine-year-old displaced Syrian girl from Hama countryside, poses for a picture in a tent at Atmeh camp, near the Turkish border. Picture: Khalil Ashawi/AP
Ranim Barakat, a nine-year-old displaced Syrian girl from Hama countryside, poses for a picture in a tent at Atmeh camp, near the Turkish border. Picture: Khalil Ashawi/AP

9 years into Syria's war, the children in these 9 pictures have never known peace

By Reuters Time of article published Jun 20, 2020

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Atmeh Camp, Syria - Four-month-old Abdul Rahman, propped up on pillows on a blue blanket in his family's tent. Two-year-old Walid, striking a boxer's pose in the centre of the mat.

Nine-year-old Ranim, who has never known peace, her bare feet poking out from beneath an embroidered red dress.

Nine photos of child refugees for nine years of war.

Reuters assigned Syrian photographer Khalil Ashawi to illustrate World Refugee Day, which is on Saturday.

He went to the Atmeh camp for displaced people on the Syrian-Turkish border, where families have been sheltering since 2011 from a conflict that has made half of Syrians homeless.

Abdul Rahman al-Fares, a 4-month-old displaced Syrian baby from south Idlib countryside at Atmeh camp, near the Turkish border. Picture: Khalil Ashawi/Reuters

He illustrated each of the war's nine years with a simple picture: a refugee child born in that year. Each poses in a tent, each alone, apart from eight-year-old Jumana and her twin brother Farhan.

Walid al-Khaled, a two-year-old displaced Syrian child from Aleppo city, poses for a picture in a tent at Atmeh camp. Picture: Khalil Ashawi/Reuters
Mahmoud al-Basha, a three-year-old displaced child, poses for a picture in a tent at Atmeh camp, Syria. Picture: Khalil Ashawi/Reuters

"Every kid represents a year in the uprising. Every kid narrates a story and they each have their unique story of the war," Ashawi explained. "These kids don't know the meaning of a home, some don't know or have forgotten that a house has a wall and a door."

Mariam al-Mohamad, a four-year-old displaced child from Homs city, poses for a picture in a tent at Atmeh camp. Picture: Khalil Ashawi/Reuters

For those children old enough to talk, Ashawi asked each the same question: what is home?

Maysaa Mahmoud, a five-year-old displaced child from Homs countryside, poses for a picture at Atmeh camp. Picture: Khalil Ashawi/Reuters

Six-year-old Rawan, in a patterned dress, said she still remembers her house "built in the old fashioned way" in south Idlib.

Rawan al-Aziz, a six-year-old displaced Syrian child, from the Southern Idlib countryside, poses for a picture in a tent at Atmeh camp, near the Turkish border with Syria. Picture: Khalil Ashawi/Reuters

"A house for me is a place where my friends and family are. I brought my toys with me but it's not nice here at all," she said. "A tent is not a house, because it might catch fire and it might fly with the wind."

Mohamed Abdallah, a 7-year-old displaced Syrian boy from Jabal al-Zawiya in Idlib's southern countryside, poses for a picture in a tent at Atmeh camp. Picture: Khalil Ashawi/Reuters


Jumana and Farhan al-Alyawi, 8-year-old displaced twins from east Idlib, pose for a picture in a tent at Atmeh camp, near the Turkish border. Picture: Khalil Ashawi/Reuters


Reuters

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