Aleppo’s children are being buried under bombs
Cii Radio| Sabera Sheik Essop| 14 October 2016| 12 Muharram 1438
Hundreds of them have died under the rubble of collapsed buildings or have been pulled out barely alive with awful injuries.
It is almost impossible to escape the bombings right now but even if children have managed to avoid the attacks which have continued for five years, life is incredibly hard.
Their education has been halted, many have lost family members, witnessed death, seen friends and siblings killed or been left without parents.
They cannot escape the aerial bombardment because there is nowhere to hide, but their daily challenges also involve just finding enough food to eat.
For many that means trying to eek out a living doing whatever they can.
Inside Aleppo groups of children are being filmed picking through the garbage tips trying to collect material which could be burnt to make benzine.
Their faces are grubby with dirt as they explain they consider themselves fairly lucky for being able to do a job which earns money – despite the dirtiness of it.
Twelve-year-old Mohammed said he arrives at the rubbish tip at 7am.
He goes to the rubbish containers and sifts through the clothes, sacks, nylon and plastic and collects all the material which they can burn.
He works eight hours a day, he says.
In a different part of the city, where about 300,000 people are trapped, a 13-year-old boy is riding pillion on the back of a motorbike being driven by his father.
The two are following the sound of the Russian jets and Syrian regime helicopters above them.
They want to film whatever happens because they explain, they want “the outside world to know”.
The older man is called Mahmoud Azizi and he is an activist who has set himself up as a freelance cameraman.
His son, known as al Halabi, is the youngest activist in the city.
He contributes to Halab News and describes himself a cameraman and a “monitor”.
“What else can we do,” he says.
“This is the only solution in our hands. We need to send these videos to the outside to show what’s happening under siege.”
The huge number of child casualties are explained away by the Russian authorities because the terrorists, who they insist they are trying to target inside the city, are using them as human shields.
It is scant explanation for the children who are living under constant threat of death right now inside the besieged city.
– Alex Crawford