One of the remarkable characteristics of children is that they remind us of our shared humanity. Children also possess an innate power, through their very existence alone, to incite compassion in even the most hardened of hearts.
Abdel is 7 years old; he left his home in Syria with his mother and two brothers to uncertain future, a life as refugees in Lebanon’s Bekaa Valley camp. Abdel wasn’t rich, but he was happy in his little home in Syria. He had a lot of friends to play with and had fun. Today, his eyes show the sadness and fear that are beyond his age, reflecting the extreme violence and horror he has witnessed. The sights and sounds of the war that most people will only see in the movies, Abdel has seen and felt them all in his real life. Indeed, he sleeps on the cement floor of the family’s tent, in a strange place unfamiliar to him. Abdel and his family have only few things in their tent. They don’t have enough food or warm clothes.
War affects children in all the ways it affects adults, but also in different ways. Impacts in children may adversely affect the life trajectory of children far more than adults. The children lose the opportunity for education during war and they are forced to move into refugee camps, where they wait for years in miserable circumstances for normal life to resume, if it ever does.
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