Syrian children dream of better future amid bloody crisis

Updated: 2014-11-17 13:17


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Syrian children dream of better future amid bloody crisis

Syrian refugee children attend a class inside a makeshift school in the Bab Al-Salam refugee camp in Azaz, near the Syrian-Turkish border, Oct 27, 2014. [Photo/Agencies]

DAMASCUS - Unlike most grown-ups whose dreams seem to have faded away due to the prolonged crisis in Syria, the children, whether rich or poor, still share a smile and a dream of a better tomorrow in a country over-fatigued by more than three and a half years of deadly crisis.

The protracted crisis in Syria has been dragging on for long and once walking down the streets, one could see the weariness over people's faces for all the obvious reasons, whether over the bad living conditions or fears of what the future may hold, especially that the intractable crisis seems to have been gaining more complications as time goes by.

However, the parents' frowning faces, and in some cases their forced smiles, didn't quite reflect on the faces of their children, whose innocence has so far shielded their fragile personalities of a considerable chunk of their parents' tiredness.

Even the children who have been directly affected by the raging war seem more determined than capitulated.

Ahmad, a 13-year-old boy, was striding while making his way through the crowds at the Hamidiyeh Souk in the walled ancient section of the capital Damascus to deliver a cup of coffee to a customer who happened to be a cloth shop owner running his business just meters from a coffee shop.

"I work at a coffee shop as a waiter serving coffee and tea. I would like to become a shop owner to sell toys. I also study and I am good at school," Ahmad said.

Ahmad is one of thousands of children who have opted to get simple jobs to help their poor families, which are reeling under the economic hardships produced by the crisis.

Muhammad Badawi, another 14-year old street rose vendor, was confidently standing at a corner in Hamidieyeh, while holding a bucket of red roses strapped to his waist while flattering with " lovers" to convince the man to buy his girl a red rose.

The teenager said he dropped out of school because he had to support his family as the family's sole breadwinner.

"I don't study because I am the breadwinner of my family. I have saved some money by selling roses and to establish this small career. I usually sell roses to the lovers who pass by this street. I dream of owning a rose shop when I grow up," Badawi said.

Seeing young boys dragging a carriage or holding boxes in the ancient part of Damascus has become increasingly common. They say "work is not a shame, the shame is to beg or stay frustrated."

Abdul-Rahman, an 11-year-old kid, said he is still attending school but he helps his brother at his shop in the afternoon. "I am currently helping my brother in his shop when I return from school every day, but when I grow up I want to become a doctor."

That was the case for the "working class" among the children and teenagers in the capital.

The children of the better-off Syrians are also dreaming of a better future, seemingly careless of the efforts their parents are excreting to keep them away from working or dropping out of schools.

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