Syria: Nine years of war. Nine portraits of child refugee

Four-month-old Abdul Rahman propped up on pillows on a blue blanket in his family’s tent. Two-year-old Walid, striking a boxer’s pose in the centre of the mat.

Image credit Yahoo News

Nine-year-old Ranim, who has never known peace, her bare feet poking out from beneath an embroidered red dress.


Nine photos of child refugee for nine years of war.

Image credit Reuters

Yesterday, it was World Refugee Day, Saturday the 20th of June.


In the Atmeh camp for displaced people on the Syrian-Turkish border, families have been sheltering since 2011 from a conflict that has made half of Syrians homeless.

Image credit Yahoo News

The Syrian photographer Khalil Ashawi illustrated each of the war’s nine years with a simple picture: a refugee child born in that year. Each poses in a tent, each alone, apart from eight-year-old Jumana and her twin brother Farhan.

Displaced child from Aleppo city, poses for a picture in a tent at Atmeh camp. Image credit Yahoo News

“Every kid represents a year in the uprising. Every kid narrates a story and they each have their unique story of the war,” Ashawi explained. “These kids don’t know the meaning of having a home, some don’t know or have forgotten that a house has a wall and a door.”


For those children old enough to be asked some questions, Ashawi asked each the same query: what is home?

Displaced Syrian twins from east Idlib, pose for a picture in a tent at Atmeh camp. Image credit Yahoo News

Six-year-old Rawan, in a patterned dress, said she still remembers her house “built in an old-fashioned way” in south Idlib.

Image credit Yahoo News

“A house for me is a place where my friends and family are. I brought my toys with me but it’s not nice here at all,” she said. “A tent is not a house, because it might catch fire and it might fly with the wind.”

Image credit Yahoo News
Image credit Yahoo News
Image credit Yahoo News

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