Syria a story – as heard on The Kaliedoscope

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Syrian refugee children from the northern Syrian town of Tel Abyad sit under a make shift tent pitched up next to a truck in Akcakale, in Sanliurfa province, Turkey, June 18, 2015. Almost 60 million people worldwide were forcibly uprooted by conflict and persecution at the end of last year, the highest ever recorded number, the U.N. refugee agency said on Thursday. UNHCR said Syria where conflict has raged since 2011, was the world's biggest source of internally displaced people and refugees. There were 7.6 million displaced people in Syria by the end of last year and almost 4 million Syrian refugees, mainly living in the neighbouring countries of Lebanon, Jordan and Turkey. REUTERS/Umit Bektas TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY

Tune in to the kaleidoscope every Monday to Friday for a brand new segment called Syria – A story,highlighting the plight of our brothers,sisters and children in Syria.

Here’s last weeks story’s just in case you missed it.

Syria – A story

Farah (17 years old)

“In my sleep, my friends tell me that I shout for my mother and sometimes scream ‘Leave me alone! Leave me alone!’”

In jail I was handcuffed, taken outside and tied to a wooden post with my arms above my head.
I was savagely beaten for two days. I remember being beaten with the butt of a rifle, with a
horse-whip and with sticks. I don’t know what else they used. They beat me on my back and
my front.

After the first few hours, I couldn’t feel a thing. Then I fainted. I must have been left hanging
there because when I woke up I was still there.
I didn’t think I would leave there alive. On the third day I was moved somewhere. They thought
I would commit suicide, because so many people have.

My grandmother and my mother came to beg for my release. They carried me home. I didn’t
move from my bed for a month. My back still hurts.
Now, in my sleep, my friends tell me that I shout for my mother and sometimes scream
“Leave me alone! Leave me alone!”

Click here to listen to the podcast of this story
Ala’a (10 Years old)

“They pulled out our food, threw it on the floor and stamped on it, so it would be too dirty to eat.”

When the shells started to fall I ran. I ran so fast. I ran and I cried at the same time.
When we were being bombed we had nothing. No food, no water, no toys – nothing.
There was no way to buy food – the markets and shops were bombed out.

After that we came back home. To make our food last we just ate once a day.
My father went without food for days because there wasn’t enough. I remember watching
him tie his stomach with rope so he wouldn’t feel so hungry.

One day men with guns broke into our house. They pulled out our food, threw it on
the floor and stamped on it, so it would be too dirty to eat. Then we had nothing at all.
Soon after that we came here

Click here to listen to the podcast of this story

Nabil (Ala’as Father)

“I was close to losing my mind. I have never felt so helpless as the moment I saw those children strapped to those tanks.”

My children have been devastated by this conflict. My son Ala’a cries a lot without telling
us why and he’s started sleepwalking. My other child has started to stutter.

The younger children still cry when a plane goes overhead or a pot falls to the ground.
They’re traumatised. I’ve spoken to lots of parents and they say the same thing.

No child has escaped this. Children aren’t children anymore. Watch any child. They play
and look normal, but they can only keep this up for a while, and then they become sad again.
In Syria I buried two children with my own hands – Maher, who was 11, and Wasem,
who was three. They were both executed with knives to punish their parents.

I carried Wasem’s body after it was dumped in the village. He had his neck cut through from
the back, and a bullet in his elbow. I remember thinking as I picked up his body that his arm
was not attached properly. But then I realised, of course, it did not matter, he was already dead.
Wasem was a lovely child – so talkative. Everyone in the village loved to see him play and smile.
Now he’s dead.

Children are on the frontline in this war in many ways. I have seen with my own eyes children
used as human shields. When two tanks came into the village I saw children attached to them,
tied up by their hands and feet, and by their torsos. The tanks came through the village and
no one stood in their way or fought because we knew we would kill the children.

After that happened I cried like a woman. I was close to losing my mind. I have never felt
so helpless as the moment I saw those children strapped to those tanks.

The name of the village was Saydeh. Let everyone know this is where this terrible thing
happened.

Click here to listen to the podcast of this story

Mohamed(15 Years old)

“They used different ways to kill people – electric shocks, throwing machinery and cement blocks on
people’s heads…”

When we were inside Syria there was shooting, shelling and fire. They rained shells down
on us and the nearby villages.

I felt there was no mercy. They’re killing people with air strikes. When the air strikes took
place we would run into the shelter or the basement. Sometimes armed men would break
into the house.

During Ramadan, the shooting and shelling were constant. Each and every day.
A massacre took place in my village. Around 25 people were killed – I witnessed it with my
own eyes. They used different ways to kill people – electric shocks, throwing machinery and
cement blocks on people’s heads, arresting people and making them suffer in prison.
I feel they have neither religion nor understanding.

During the day here in the camp I look after my younger siblings. I take them to the playground.
The thing we struggle with is this dust. People constantly get sick here – one of my brothers
got sick today.

I ask Arabs around the world to solve this and to help us. Sometimes I feel we might also die
from the situation here.

Click here to listen to the podcast of this story

Mohammed (17 Years Old)

“they ripped the fingernails from six-year-old children.”

There have been a huge number of children being killed in Syria. In my village there was a
two-year-old girl who was shot, and died. She was walking, doing nothing but walking, and they
killed her. I saw her body with my own eyes, her uncle was carrying her. The bullet was next
to her heart, she died immediately. They had no chance to try and save her. A two-year-old girl!

In my village there was a demonstration a while ago. Some children were in the demonstration,
but not many. As a punishment, armed men went to the school. They selected 50 children at
random in the classrooms, from grades 1 to 7. They took them out of the school and tore out
their fingernails. Many of these children were six years old, just six. They ripped the fingernails
from six-year-old children. They kept the children. People in the village were trying everything
to get their children back, but we had no weapons, so could do nothing. I don’t know where
they are now, I left soon after that happened.

People in Syria are dying. They’re getting arrested. Their houses are being broken into. It’s not
safe any more – there’s so much shelling. In my village there are a lot of houses being destroyed
by air strikes, shells, tanks. Houses are destroyed, or someone in the family is killed or
imprisoned. Not one house is left untouched.

Each and every family in Syria is terrified. They are guaranteed nothing – one day their house
may be destroyed; another day a family member may be killed. There’s no way to know when
this will happen.

We were walking down the street, and there was shooting. We all got injured. My mother
was hit by a bullet and so were my two sisters, in their legs. There was no reason for it.
They survived, but my uncle died.

The armed men on the street say, “OK, shall we kill this guy? How about this woman –
who wants to kill her?” They want the streets for themselves.

Whenever a house was destroyed I’d go with my family to try and help. One house I saw was
a three-floor house, the shelter was in the basement. The shells destroyed the whole thing,
including the basement. 13 people died that night; four of them were children. I ran there to
help. We found the bodies, covered in dust. We buried them as best we could. Shelters don’t
work, nothing does. They’re using all sorts of things – bombs, shells, guns, tank.

In another village nearby they were going from house to house. I heard they found a shelter
housing 50 children. They killed them all. They shot some in the head, others were killed with
knives. There is nothing they didn’t use to kill these children. I don’t understand how they could
do this, how anyone can do this.

I will try any way I can to let the whole world know that this is actually happening in Syria.
This is real, it’s happening. I want the whole world to know, I want the whole world to listen.
I never know if my family in Syria will be alive from one moment to the next. I could call
them now and then five minutes later they could be dead. Children are crying all the time,
terrified because of the bombings.

Save the Children is helping me here. I have a Save the Children social worker who is helping
me find somewhere to live, and making sure I have food and water.

Click here to listen to the podcast of this story

Source – Save the Children UK