Nine years of war. Nine portraits of kids who dream of home
June 21 2020 03:33 AM
Combination picture
Combination picture shows (top row, L-R) Ranim Barakat, a nine-year-old displaced Syrian girl from Hama countryside; Jumana and Farhan al-Alyawi, a eight-year-old displaced twins from east Idlib; Maysaa Mahmoud, a five-year-old displaced child from Homs countryside; (middle row, L-R) Walid al-Khaled, a two-year-old displaced child from Aleppo city; Rawan al-Aziz, a six-year-old displaced child, from Southern Idlib countryside; Mahmoud al-Basha, a three-year-old displaced child; (bottom row, L-R) Mariam al-Mohamad, a four-year-old displaced child from Homs city; Mohamed Abdallah, a 7-year-old displaced Syrian boy from Jabal al-Zawiya in Idlib’s southern countryside and Abdul Rahman al-Fares, a four-month-old displaced baby from south Idlib countryside posing for pictures in a tent at Atmeh camp, near the Turkish border, Syria June 19, 2020.

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 refugee for nine years of war.
Reuters assigned Syrian photographer Khalil Ashawi to illustrate World Refugee Day, which was yesterday. 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.
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.
“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.”
For those children old enough to talk, Ashawi asked each the same question: what is home?
Six-year-old Rawan, in a patterned dress, said she still remembers her house “built in the old fashioned way” in south Idlib. “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.”

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