Syrian children in Azraq refugee camp, Jordan

7 Years of Conflict in Syria: Meet 7 Refugee Children Who Dream of Home

After seven years of conflict in their families’ home country, these seven-year-old refugee children have never known a Syria at peace. Here, they show us their favorite toys.

It has been seven years since the devastating conflict in Syria began in March 2011. In those years, more than 5.4 million Syrians have fled to neighboring countries, seeking safety as refugees. Millions more have been forced to leave their homes, but stayed within Syrian borders – the UN’s Refugee Agency estimates that 6.1 million people are internally displaced.

This vast group of civilians have managed to escape violence and terror by leaving behind the homes, schools, neighborhoods they grew up in. But nearly three million people remain in areas that are besieged or very hard to reach for aid agencies, according to the United Nations – leaving them to the mercy of bombings with little access to humanitarian assistance.

Our Humanitarian Response: Meeting Urgent Needs of Syrians

Action Against Hunger is working in Syria and its neighboring countries, doing everything we can to meet urgent needs of Syrian women, men, and children. We are providing food assistance, improving access to clean water and safe sanitation, and more to help families survive.

In Jordan – one of Syria’s neighbors that has seen a large influx of refugees – we help Syrian refugees and vulnerable Jordanian host communities. We have a team of 400 aid workers in Jordan, supporting families and communities with humanitarian programs and mental health care to ensure their needs are met.

More than half of Syria’s displaced population are children – thousands of whom have lived their whole lives with their country at war. Some, born as refugees, have never even seen the country their parents and grandparents called home.

To mark the seventh year of conflict in Syria, we are sharing the stories of seven refugees – seven-year-old children who have lived their whole lives in instability. Natalie Abu-Eisheh, Communications Officer for the Action Against Hunger Middle East Office, spoke with these children, who live in Jordan’s Azraq Camp, about their favorite toys.

Ayman from Daraa, Syria
 

Ayman loves the color red, and he loves airplanes – this red plastic airplane is his favorite toy: “With planes you can fly, and I would like to fly to Syria.” Ayman’s family kept two rabbits as pets back in Syria that he used to play with. They were lost with the war, but Ayman would like to get new rabbits one day.

Photo: Natalie Abu-Eisheh
for Action Against Hunger,
Jordan

Kafaá from Halab, Syria 

Kafaá’s favorite thing to play with is this car, driven by a toy child, because she loves road trips and nature. She imagines herself in a car driving all across Syria and its beautiful places. Kafaá explained that her house in Syria was so much nicer than the caravan she and her family live in now – it had real walls instead of fake ones.

Photo: Natalie Abu-Eisheh
for Action Against Hunger,
Jordan

Wassim from Halab, Syria
 

Wassim’s favorite toy is this lion, because it symbolizes strength and, whenever he holds it, he feels stronger. He doesn’t remember much about Syria, but he dreams of returning one day. His parents have told him many nice things about their home country, like the beautiful garden around their house.

Photo: Natalie Abu-Eisheh
for Action Against Hunger,
Jordan

Noor from Hama, Syria
 

Noor loves her doll because it was a gift from its namesake - her grandmother, Amina. “I don’t treat her like a doll, I treat Amina like a friend,” Noor says. She explained how her hometown of Hama, Syria, is beautiful, with big trees where she used to play with her cousins.

Photo: Natalie Abu-Eisheh
for Action Against Hunger,
Jordan

Mohammad from Daraa, Syria
 

This fish is Mohammad’s favorite toy because his father was a fisherman. His dad always talked about fish, and Mohammad really wants to be like him one day. As Mohammad told our team, his fish is special -- not like any other fishes -- and it wears a helmet so he can keep it safe. He often hears from relatives back home in Syria: "My family sends us many pictures of where we lived and, of the birds, I love them."

Photo: Natalie Abu-Eisheh
for Action Against Hunger,
Jordan

Mohammad-Wisam from Daraa, Syria
 

Mohammad-Wisam’s favorite toy is this beaded necklace. Whenever he listens to old Syrian songs and dances the traditional Middle Eastern “Dabkeh” dance, he swings and waves it around. Mohammad-Wisam would love to go back to Syria one day to see his grandfather, who he was named after.

Photo: Natalie Abu-Eisheh
for Action Against Hunger,
Jordan

Sahar from Daraa, Syria
 

Sahar’s favorite toy is this little squirrel – her cousin has a matching one and they promised to stay friends forever. Sahar told our team what she remembers of Syria, about how it’s green and beautiful, filled with trees and grass, and about how she would love to go back and run through the fields.

Photo: Natalie Abu-Eisheh
for Action Against Hunger,
Jordan

Action Against Hunger is a global humanitarian organization that takes decisive action against the causes and effects of hunger. We save the lives of malnourished children. We ensure everyone can access clean water, food, training and healthcare. We enable entire communities to be free from hunger.