Firas: Finding inspiration in heartbreaks
Six years of conflict in Syria: Save the Children series
Firas* sleeps next to his mother every night. His older brother has the top bunk of the bed for himself, while their sister takes the single bed on the opposite side.
It is the same room that was engulfed in flames when a mortar fire hit the house in Tripoli a few years back. Five months before that day, Firas’ father died in an accident involving a wood cutting machine he was operating.
‘’Things were starting to get better, only to get worse,‘’ single mother Hana* says, staring out of the same window from which she used to watch battles between warring Bab al-Tabbaneh and Jabal Mohsen intensify.
‘’The conflict started, my husband died and our house was burnt, all within months.’’
Hana hopes that the dark memories are in the past now. She is relieved that Firas is starting to overcome a state of isolation that affected his education.
‘’He turned five and it was time for him to go to school,’’ Hana says. ‘’But he didn’t want to. He was too afraid to leave me. He would cry and ask me to go with him. He would always tell me ‘’what if they took me?.’’
‘’I registered him at Save the Children’s education centre where he could get some support. It helped him accept school and friends. I was delighted that he was in a healing environment he badly needed.’’
Firas now wants to ‘’buy a big house for my family when I grow up.’’
In Lebanon, many children have suffered heavy losses in years of division and violence. War is one factor adding to the vulnerability of almost half a million Lebanese children currently living below the poverty line.
In times of peace, education remains the only and ultimate route to full recovery.
*Names changed for protection.