From their humble villages in the mountains, the children of Lattakia’s countryside relocated with their parents to tents far away from conflict and regime bombing, hoping for safe residence.
The teachers of Lattakia’s countryside opened schools for the displaced children inside tents that closely resemble those they live in. Here, there is no talk of games, swings, gardens or other means of entertainment.
Bashar al-Assad is not willing to accept the idea of these children continuing their education or normal lives. The regime’s airplanes targeted them with explosive barrels and chemical weapons, and bombed them with tanks and artillery. Spared from murder after murder, they moved from the heat of Syria’s conflict to a point along the Turkish border.
Their teachers did not abandon them. They dedicated some tents to conduct lessons inside while teaching from torn books, many tainted with the blood of their peers and family. But the important thing is that the letters and children’s drawings which lie on the pages remain clear.
“The minimum education is better than no education,” said Shadi’s dad, a teacher at the tent school, adding: “I accept [under] our circumstances that my son can read and write, but we wait for a free tomorrow when I will teach him everything, if life is destined for me and him.”
His eyes flooded with tears: “Rather than becoming doctors or engineers, the criminal Assad forced our children to think about protecting their parents and land. Oh God, when will this tyranny and nightmare be removed from upon us?”
Schools in the Camps
“After the three demonic attacks on the Syrian people in the Kurds and Turkmen mountains, and the area of Bidama, most of the schools stopped,” said Ahmad al-Yamini, the manager of the free education program in Lattakia. “We opened six schools in the camps close to the Turkish border.”
Yamini told Zaman al-Wasl that “During a month… we managed to prepare our children for school, but this time in tents and not classes. We are working on raising awareness to attract middle school and high school students to continue their education even if it is in mobile schools.”
“We thank God that the teaching operation is going relatively well,” he said, adding that the local court had certified the independent education program.
We Do Not Care About Death
Yamini criticized those organizations which claim to fight for children’s rights through activities and psycho-social support, claiming that they are merely “projects to steal money from sponsoring parties, and they are not executed based on scientific and safe methods.”
“We do not care for death or bombing. We will continue our work; educating our children deserves us to make this sacrifice and endure the suffering. We do not want them to lose their opportunity to learn as they are losing their homes, relatives and even some their parents,” Yamini concluded.
This article was edited by The Syrian Observer. Responsibility for the information and views set out in this article lies entirely with the author.