We will Rise from the Ashes

“The sky was bloody and subdued, giving out an eerie feeling with no sign of birds flying around. ‘They too would have fled for their lives like me and many others,’ thought little Hamed. He saw a tower of thick black smoke rising near the horizon. The sun turned his face away as a protest to the happening; the gushing wind sent shivers down his spine. At the back drop of war, not a single soul was to be seen out in the vast stretch of land, other than burnt cars and houses in rubble. The deadly silence pierced through his ears; holding his father’s hand he continued walking. His tiny legs were aching due to hours of walking, but did not dare to complain. He saw something lying on the ground, ahead of him and as he drew close to it he realised that it was the body of an infant without a head. Hamed gasped at the sight and closed his eyes tight as if it would wipe out what he had just seen. A silent prayer escaped from his mother’s mouth “Allah! Reward this soul with goodness” and tears rolled down her cheeks.

It was almost midnight and they reached the border when Hamed’s father bribed the guards to cross the border to a safe haven for his family of eight. Though they rebuilt their home, things did not get any better. Hamed woke up in the middle of nights having nightmares, the gruesome sight on the night of their escapade still haunting him. He tries to put a smile on his face to forget his past and hopes for a better future. Hamed and his siblings started schooling and have made new friends, but the horror of war is vivid in his mind, it is this memory that makes him want to rebuild his country one day for the many children who have similar plight as his.”
When the world has its own little worries and cribs about our mundane work routine and complain about having nothing to wear when the closet is piled up with clothes, someone else in a remote part of the world is struggling to meet two ends to feed their family. Childhood is just a pipedream for many, it is snatched away from them by the hands of war and they tend to mature ahead of their age and are transformed to be miniature adults. When most of the children are cared and nurtured for inside the comforts of the four walls, these children take up the role of the breadwinner in the family.

Statistics suggest that 1 in 5 children in today’s world live in a conflict zone and are at the risk of harm compared to last twenty years. Nothing has changed after three and a half centuries of world war in terms of quality of life, especially children. If we look at the count of children who have been permanently displaced from their homelands due to war in last ten years; studies state that it is four million, and two million of them died alone and without proper medical attention. Further, one million children have been orphaned. While these statistics remain mere numbers, the number of lives lost is more than these.

Even if these children are saved from the war zones they do not end up in good hands. Their suffering continues as they are confined in the refugee camps and sometimes go through Ill treatment and restrictions. But, fortunately, many organisations like the United Nations, WHO and UNICEF work to bring about changes by ensuring their rights and lend a helping hand in their psychological, emotional and social well-being.

Most important of all, education is at stake for these children. They are vulnerable and prone to diseases due to malnourishment. And they go through psychological condition like post-traumatic stress disorder and are constantly under other psychological threats arising from witnessing the brutalities of life.

Twenty-second March this year marked the eighth anniversary of the Syrian conflict. And many other parts of the world continue to fight for their lives and we are accountable to our fellow beings. All we need to do is to lend our hands so that they will be able to rise from the ashes.

By: Acsa Saby

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