Photos by Claire Wilkinson.
First there was the sound of gunfire. It was heavy and followed by a terrible noise that shook 12-year-old Abdulrahman’s apartment building, all the way up to his room on the fifth floor. Then there was the light from a helicopter in the distance, and the fire of bullets that rained on the mosque. After that, his mother and father knew Syria was no longer safe; Abdulrahman and his two brothers left with his parents for Lebanon the next day.
During their first year as refugees, Samir, Abdulrahman, and Mohamed, now 13, 12, and 9 respectively, were taught lessons by their parents in the same room that they ate, slept, and played. Eventually, through a double-shift school system, the boys were able to resume their educations in Lebanon and, despite the challenges of a foreign curriculum, began to learn how to read and write.
To keep their spirits up and occupy their minds, the boys began to learn how to rap. It started when they first heard Esmaeel Tamer’s moving lyrics about peace in their home country and his reflections on war. Now, after four years of channeling their traumatic experiences as refugees through music, they’re using rap to show the world how education allowed them to realize their talents, reach their potential, and build a brighter future. The film below, produced by charity Theirworld with help from Silverfish Media and Sonbola, tells their story as well as those of other Syrian refugee children.
Support their effort by sharing the brothers’ video and signing A World at School’s ‘Hope for Syrian Children’ petition which will be presented to world leaders at the Syria Donor Conference in February.
Watch The Film:
Why the Educations of Syria’s Refugee Children Matters
Today, more than 4.5 million people have risked their lives fleeing their homes in Syria where a conflict pushing its fifth year rages onward. More than half of these Syrian refugees are children like Abdulrahman, many of whom forced not only to leave their homes behind, but their educations and ultimately, their hope for their futures, as well.
It’s a proven fact that education — even in crisis situations like the Syrian conflict — has the power to arm children with vital safety information (survival skills and preventative health habits) in the short term and protect against future threats like infant mortality in the long term. Not to mention, education shields children from evils like early marriage, labor, and conscription into armed forces. When access to learning is granted equally, education may even reduce the likelihood of future violent conflict erupting within countries.
Without access to this basic human right, an entire generation of children from Syria will never realize their full potential. However, now, through the help of key donor countries and the private sector, the international community can help create hope for these children’s futures.
You Can Help
In September, the governments of Jordan, Turkey, and Lebanon outlined a plan to place one million Syrian refugee children into school through an innovative double-shift school system. Then in early December, GBC-Education convened 30 major companies including members ITWORX Education and NRS International alongside the UN Special Envoy for Global Education Gordon Brown and others to agree on next-steps to carry out the plan. But, if Syrian refugee children like Abdulrahman and his brothers are going to be able to attend school by the end of the next school year, more support and innovation from the private sector will be needed.
Video produced by Theirworld and Silverfish Media with the help of Sonbola.
To learn more about opportunities to collaborate with GBC-Education in this effort, please email Lauren Lichtman (email@example.com) or Lorraine Charles (firstname.lastname@example.org).