“Maybe if we die we can play”: the moving drawings of children affected by the war in Syria

“Maybe if we die we can play”: the moving drawings of children affected by the war in Syria

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“Maybe if we die we can play.”

It is a sentiment echoed by many children who suffer the war in Syria, said Dr. Mohammad Khalid Hamza.

His team of doctors and psychologists from the Syrian American Medical Society (Sams) have been working with children affected by a conflict that has lasted seven years.

  • This and other humanitarian aid organizations have collected drawings made by children up to 14 years of age who show how they see the war.

Some names of the authors were omitted to protect their identities.

The drawing of a Syrian refugee boy showing an eye with tears falling. In tears it is written: "Beautiful Syria".Copyright of the SAVE THE CHILDREN image

Image caption: The words written on the tears say: “Why Syria?”.

A drawing made by a Syrian refugee boy shows a warplane, an ambulance and missiles in the direction of two people carrying a wounded child.Copyright of the SAMS imageImage caption: The legends in this drawing say: “Asad air force”, “ambulance”, “the children of Khan Sheikhoun” and “blood of children”. UN experts concluded that the government was behind a chemical attack in the city of Khan Sheikhoun, controlled by the rebels, in April 2017. Dozens of people were killed, including several children.

This drawing shows an apparent aerial attack with missiles hitting a building. The text above the soldier who fires a machine gun says: "This is our army of resistance: Nation, honor and loyalty."Copyright of the SAMS image

Image caption: This drawing shows an apparent air strike with missiles hitting a building. The text above the soldier who fires a machine gun says: “This is our army of resistance: Nation, honor and loyalty.”

A drawing of a Syrian refugee boy shows an adult standing and next to him there is a corpse.Copyright of the SAVE THE CHILDREN imageImage caption: “This is Syria”. Dr. Hamza, a neuropsychologist at the Syrian Medical Society, says children he has met have lost hope.

A drawing of a Syrian refugee boy shows a boat in the sea with a group of people on board and others in the water around.Copyright of the SAMS imageImage caption: More than half of Syria’s population has been displaced by the war, with the flight of more than 5.6 million Syrians from their country. Despite the risks involved in crossing the Mediterranean Sea in inadequate vessels and governed by human traffickers, hundreds of thousands of refugees have sought asylum in Europe.

A drawing of a Syrian refugee boy shows what appears to be a prison with sad people behind bars.Copyright of the SAMS image

Image caption: “My country”. More than 118,000 Syrians have been arrested or have disappeared since 2011, the vast majority by government forces, according to the Syrian Network for Human Rights, a monitoring group.

The drawing of a Syrian refugee boy showing a bird singing, then the same bird appears in a cage and then an empty cage.Copyright of the SAMS image

Image caption: The top legend (from right to left) says: “Brothers: Safa, Zahra, Fatima, Osama, Joud”. The lower legend (from left to right) says: “My father in 2010”, “My father in 2011”, “My father in 2014”.

A drawing of a Syrian refugee boy showing a girl and a boy crying.Copyright of the image UNICEF

Image caption: Myassar, aged 14: “I drew myself and my sister crying when my father left us two years ago, we do not know anything about him, this is my saddest memory.”

A drawing of a Syrian refugee boy seems to show a comparison before and after a square in the Syrian city of Homs.Copyright of the SAMS / AFP image

Image caption: This drawing seems to show the clock tower in a central square in Homs. The third largest city in Syria was once considered “the capital of the revolution” against President Bashar al-Assad. It was devastated three years ago after a fierce clash between the government and the rebel forces.

Images provided by the Syrian American Medical Society, the Save the Children organization and Unicef

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