Saturday, June 6, 2020


GAZIANTEP, Turkey, Normally, childhood is the time of playing and enjoying a carefree life, away from worries and concerns; however, the situation is different for Syrian refugee children.

After six years of fighting, killing, bombardment, devastation, destruction, homelessness and migration, the innocence of these children seemed to fade away, leading them to maturity at a very early age.

These days, the tragedy of refugees, especially those who have recently arrived from Eastern Aleppo, is aggravating. They are suffering the severe cold of winter, and trying to survive amid sharp shortage of food supplies, water, electricity and other basic needs.

Mohammad, 10, a displaced from Aleppo, has lost his father and brother, in the recent horrific events in the city. Now he lives in a refugee camp, with his mother, three sisters and painful memories, and psychological scars.

"I miss my home, school and the calm happy life of the past," Mohammad told KUNA.

Now Mohammad goes to a school in the camp of Teiba, in the town of Sarmada, north of Idlib, close to the Turkish borders.

It is a good school, but Mohammad has no friends here; he misses his old mates of the good old days. Loss of a father adds to the dilemma.

"We seem to have grown mature, too old for our age. Children our age are supposed to be playing and enjoy carefree life," he said.

Like many other Syrian refugee children, Mohammad is now responsible for a family, after the father was lost in the fighting. Some children have to work to fulfil the needs of their families.

"We will go on, and hopefully one day we will be back home to Aleppo, to re-construct the devastated city," the young boy stressed.

On his part, director of operations of the Qatar Red Crescent Society (QRCS) inside Syria, Bassam Khaddam, reiterated full commitment to provide all forms of support to alleviate the sufferings of the "Syrian brothers."

"This is a top priority for us," he told KUNA.

The QRCS, through cadres operating inside Syria, has been offering humanitarian aid, and medical care through mobile clinics in areas where the displaced have found safe haven, after fleeing death, Khaddam said.

He referred to the challenges facing the displaced refugee children and families, aggravating the traumatic effects of the war.

"Most refugee children are deprived of good education, and are in dire need for psychological and social rehabilitation," he said.

The Syria crisis that erupted in 2011 has left tens of thousands killed, hundreds of thousands wounded and millions of homeless, displaced and refugees.

Meanwhile, the Kuwait Red Crescent Society (KRCS), signed agreements worth USD 2.4 million with Qatar's Red Crescent Society (QRCS), to offer relief aid and medical supplies to the Syrian refugee families from Syria's eastern Aleppo.

KRCS board chairman, Dr. Helal Al-Sayer, signed the accords with the Director of Relief and International Development at QRCS, Dr. Khalid Diab, at the latter's office in Gazinantep, south-western Turkey.

These agreements are part of the strategic partnership and cooperation between the two societies, for the displaced "Syrian brothers from Aleppo," Al-Sayed told KUNA.

They include providing 8,000 food packages, winter clothes for 5-14 children and heating oil, and blankets.

The KRCS-QRCS cooperation projects also include 10 mobile clinics to offer medical services to refugees from Aleppo, supporting a field hospital, and providing three huge tanks of drinking water daily, in addition to assisting orphans, Al-Sayer noted.

On his part, Diab said, the QRCS started offering help to Syrian refugees in 2012, in neighbouring countries, Iraq, Lebanon, Jordan and Turkey.