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A lifetime of war


A lifetime of war

7-year-old refugees tell the story of Syria’s next generation as conflict reaches 7-year mark
25 April 2018 Also available in:


7 birthdays.

All spent under the shroud of a war they had no business creating. Each of these Syrian refugee children, from the smiling twin girls in Jordan to the boy who is beating the odds in Lebanon, have something in common. They are as old as the war.


Abdulhadi misses his grandfather’s house and his rabbits back in Syria.

He is 7 years old. UNHCR estimates that there are now more than a million Syrian refugee children like Abdulhadi who have never known their country at peace, their earliest memories shaped by war and exile.


Alaa and Aya’s home in Homs was struck by a bomb in 2013. They lost everything. Everything but each other.

The twins now live in Jordan. Alaa wants to be a teacher when she grows up. Aya dreams of being a dentist.


Mohammad: “I like school.’’
What do you learn at school?
Mohammad: “English, Arabic, math.’’

7-year-old Mohammad lost his left hand when a shell struck his home in Palmyra, Syria. Against all odds he is now learning to read, speak, and live a new life in Lebanon.


Vahide wants to be like her big sister. She wants to be a policewoman.

This curly-haired girl is one of 3.5 million Syrian refugees in Turkey. She’s already mastered the Turkish language and loves to draw and paint.


“When my father passed away, my relatives told us to come to the camp. That’s why we’re here.”

Youssef became a Syrian refugee at the age of two, the same age he lost his father to the war.


Huda was born in Homs. She fled to Turkey. Now she enjoys her life in Berlin.

But she misses her grandparents. They are still in Syria.


“I like very much to study and my school is pretty and cool.”

Salam and her family fled from Damascus to Egypt. She recently begun her studies in her new hometown: Sao Paolo, Brazil.


These 7-year-old kids represent the best of Syrian refugees. They embody resilience and have the power to inspire.

But when the guns falls silent and the bombs cease to fall from the sky, they will inherit what is left of Syria.

The relentless suffering of Syrian civilians marks a shameful failure of political will, these children are a 7-year-old reminder that the bloodshed must end.







The Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) was established on 14 December 1950 by the United Nations General Assembly. The agency is mandated to lead and coordinate international action to protect refugees and resolve refugee issues. It strives to ensure that everyone has the right to seek asylum and find safe refuge in another state, with the option to voluntarily return home when conditions are conducive for return, integrate locally or resettle to a third country. UNHCR has twice won the Nobel Peace Prize, in 1954 for its ground-breaking work in helping the refugees of Europe, and in 1981 for its worldwide assistance to refugees.