Syrian Children.. Lost Generation

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A Syrian refugee boy Mahmoud, 15, cleans fish for tips in a shop next to his home in an underground shelter where he lives with his family, in Lebanon. File photo

ARA News

Beirut, Lebanon – Syrian children in Lebanon left their toys, schools and childhood to work like adults supporting their families.

This is my life

In one of the workshops held in southern Lebanon, ARA News met Samir, 11, who does not play or study but works in gritting stones of more than 200 kg before being ornamented.

Samir does this job as if he was born for it.

“I feel comfortable here; nothing is difficult. I help my uncle. I wake up to work at 6am and come back home at 5pm. This is my life, I got used to it,” Samir said.

No childhood

Ahmed,14, does not want to listen to his parents about enjoying the summer, as he has gotten used to the work that he does during winter.

Ahmed works in one of the construction workshops, and with the decreasing working hours he becomes frustrated and anxious.

Ahmad moved on to work in a tailor’s shop instead of doing nothing, but continues to work from 8am until 8pm.

Ahmad’s mother told ARA News “I am really concerned about his situation. Since his father decided that Ahmad would be the supporter of the family, Ahmad started behaving like an adult and forgot about his studies and childhood.”

No trust

When Redwan arrived in Lebanon with his father nearly one year ago, he started daily jobs regardless of type or wage.

Redwan is the son of divorced parents in which the father does not fulfill his responsibilities towards his children, and the mother is now married to a Lebanese.

Redwan’s family influenced his point of view about life; as a result, he trusts no one.

“My-self interest is what matters to me. I am paid wages from my employers then they can do whatever they want. I know they are all cheaters, but I am obliged to deal with them to make a living,” Redwan told ARA News.

Lost generation  

Hundreds of reports issued by various rights’ organizations, such as the UNICEF, highlight the suffering of Syrian children refugees in Lebanon. According to reports, more than 200,000 Syrian children refugees are obliged to struggle with hard working conditions.

Observers describe Syrian children they encounter amid war and refuge as “the lost generation”.

 

Reporting by: Hussam al-Zeer

Source: ARA News

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