Ironically my husband went to Syria and some other Middle Eastern countries just after we first met. He was backpacking from Cairo to Damascus and despite the amazing sites of the Pyramids in Egypt and the city of Petra in Jordan, Syria was his favourite country, with the most hospitable and friendly people. In fact I am looking now at the copy of the guidebook he used and upstairs on my dressing table I have a beautiful little box that he bought me from an old man in Damascus. The guidebook declares how Syria's tourism profile is rising and what a great place it is to visit - written 15 years ago the story has changed again and it is truly terrible that such a beautiful and friendly country is once again being ravaged by war.
Today, Save the Children has released a report – Untold Atrocities - the Stories of Syria's Children - a collection of shocking first-hand accounts of the conflict from children and parents who are now receiving help from Save the Children after fleeing Syria. The accounts are truly harrowing and demonstrate why we need to help. Stories like that of little Nur - just 9 years old - only a little bit older than my own Little Miss Star. She lives with her family in Za ' atari refugee camp in Jordan and shockingly her story is possibly less harrowing than some.
|Image from Save the Children|
In Syria I was happy, I used to play football and other games. Then the violence started and they started to make us suffer. There was nothing that they did not use to hurt us with.
Earlier they used tanks, and then they took it further and started using air strikes, bombings, missiles and every weapon you could think of. They killed us. Today there is nothing left in my home village, and most of the people have left.
I was terrified. Us along with my cousins, neighbours, aunts and people we know used to go to the shelter to hide. I used to like hiding. Hiding is better than dying.
The camp is better than being in Syria – there they are shooting at us while here there is neither shooting nor shelling. I want it to stop so we can go back, so I can play again with my friends.
Children should not have to suffer like this.
If you don't have time to read the report please just watch this video:
Save the Children are calling for the UN to step up its documentation of all violations of children’s rights in Syria and asking that it should have more resources to do this, so that crimes against children are not committed with impunity.
How can you help to support this campaign? How can you help save Syria's children so that one day they can move back to their homeland and rebuild the beautiful country that it once was and welcome back peaceful visitors on the road to Damascus.
1. You can sign the petition from Save the Children calling for the UN to make sure that every crime against children is counted, show Syria that the world is watching and that the perpetrators are held to account.
2. You can donate to Save the Children's Syria Crisis campaign. All money raised goes towards helping the children like little Nur in the refugee camps, providing them with basics like food and blankets as well as much needed emotional support.
3. You can share this on Facebook or Twitter, using the #savesyriaschildren hashtag. Please help to spread the word, even if you cannot afford to donate - maybe one of your friends can. Please don't just like this - share it - just liking does nothing.
Thank you for reading.