Playing in the Ruins of War: Children Reclaim their Space

Published July 3rd, 2017 - 13:30 GMT

Rate Article:

 
PRINT Send Mail
comment (0)

Children have the right to play - a right enshrined in the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child. Through play, children engage with the world around them, they explore and develop their own abilities, overcome fears and get to know themselves and others. 

Yet, many children are deprived of their rights by growing up in conflict zones that leave little room for creativity and development. 

Despite that, whether in Syria, Gaza, Iraq or Refugee settings, children have found ways to conquer spaces and create their own places for play. 

Have a look at how children defy destruction through their imagination and creativity.

View as list
A displaced Syrian child fleeing from Deir Ezzor city besieged by Daesh plays with a skipping rope. As a result of the Syrian crisis, some 2.5 million are living as refugee children in neighbouring countries. These children have lost their homes, schools and communities but do not give up on finding happiness in the small things that remain.
Reduce

Image 1 of 11:  1 / 11A displaced Syrian child fleeing from Deir Ezzor city besieged by Daesh plays with a skipping rope. As a result of the Syrian crisis, some 2.5 million are living as refugee children in neighbouring countries. These children have lost their homes, schools and communities but do not give up on finding happiness in the small things that remain.

(Source: AFP/ Delil Souleiman)

Enlarge
A boy head over heals in Douma, September 2016. The rebel-held city has been under blockage by Syrian government forces since 2013, causing shortages in food and medical supplies.
Reduce

Image 2 of 11:  2 / 11A boy head over heals in Douma, September 2016. The rebel-held city has been under blockage by Syrian government forces since 2013, causing shortages in food and medical supplies.

(Source: AFP/ Sameer al-Doumy)

Enlarge
Believing in positive change, a resident of Douma, Abu Ali al Bitar, started to transform former missiles into swings. 'I took something that used to kill and turned it into a toy that makes children smile. If children ask me what all the noise and smoke is I always say 'don't panic, it's just Allah giving you something new to play with.'
Reduce

Image 3 of 11:  3 / 11Believing in positive change, a resident of Douma, Abu Ali al Bitar, started to transform former missiles into swings. "I took something that used to kill and turned it into a toy that makes children smile. If children ask me what all the noise and smoke is I always say 'don't panic, it's just Allah giving you something new to play with."

(Source: AFP/ Sameer al-Doumy)

Enlarge
Playing in and with the ruins of war can be dangerous. Many children fall victim to unexploded ordnance rockets. Here Palestinian children play in a building destroyed during the 50-day war between Israel and Hamas militants in the summer of 2014 in Gaza City.
Reduce

Image 4 of 11:  4 / 11Playing in and with the ruins of war can be dangerous. Many children fall victim to unexploded ordnance rockets. Here Palestinian children play in a building destroyed during the 50-day war between Israel and Hamas militants in the summer of 2014 in Gaza City.

(Source: AFP/ Mohammed Abed)

Enlarge
Palestinian children play amidst wrecked cars in an impoverished area of the southern Gazan city of Khan Yunis. Since the blockade of the Gaza strip following Hamas’ takeover, the economy has declined, the import of necessary materials has been difficult and the strip has come under repeated attack by Israeli forces.
Reduce

Image 5 of 11:  5 / 11Palestinian children play amidst wrecked cars in an impoverished area of the southern Gazan city of Khan Yunis. Since the blockade of the Gaza strip following Hamas’ takeover, the economy has declined, the import of necessary materials has been difficult and the strip has come under repeated attack by Israeli forces.

(Source: AFP/ Thomas Coex)

Enlarge
A displaced Syrian boy, who fled Daesh stronghold Raqa, plays with a spinning top at a temporary camp in Syria. Photographer Delil Suleiman: “Sometimes I witness things that give me hope. I saw a truck that had just come in from Raqa. Dust covered the faces of all those on board. And as soon as the kids got off, two of them started playing.”
Reduce

Image 6 of 11:  6 / 11A displaced Syrian boy, who fled Daesh stronghold Raqa, plays with a spinning top at a temporary camp in Syria. Photographer Delil Suleiman: “Sometimes I witness things that give me hope. I saw a truck that had just come in from Raqa. Dust covered the faces of all those on board. And as soon as the kids got off, two of them started playing.”

(Source: AFP/ Delil Souleiman)

Enlarge
Displaced Iraqi children play on a makeshift swing at al-Khazir camp for the internally displaced, located between Irbil and Mosul. Fighting in Mosul, controlled by Daesh since 2014, has displaced as much as 255,000 people since last October.
Reduce

Image 7 of 11:  7 / 11Displaced Iraqi children play on a makeshift swing at al-Khazir camp for the internally displaced, located between Irbil and Mosul. Fighting in Mosul, controlled by Daesh since 2014, has displaced as much as 255,000 people since last October.

(Source: AFP)

Enlarge
Two children playing on their bikes in the ruins of the Shaar district, Aleppo. The battle for Aleppo, which ended with the Syrian government’s recapture of city in December 2016, was one of the most devastating battles in the Syrian civil war. It left around 31,000 people dead, displaced thousands and caused severe damages to the old city.
Reduce

Image 8 of 11:  8 / 11Two children playing on their bikes in the ruins of the Shaar district, Aleppo. The battle for Aleppo, which ended with the Syrian government’s recapture of city in December 2016, was one of the most devastating battles in the Syrian civil war. It left around 31,000 people dead, displaced thousands and caused severe damages to the old city.

(Source: AFP/ Joseph Eid)

Enlarge
Children swing on an electrical wire hanging off a damaged building in Kobani. After the liberalization from Daesh in 2015, many people have returned to the city. Yet, reconstruction has been made difficult by the closure of border crossings with Turkey that prevented the importation of goods such as cement, iron, medicines, food and technology.
Reduce

Image 9 of 11:  9 / 11Children swing on an electrical wire hanging off a damaged building in Kobani. After the liberalization from Daesh in 2015, many people have returned to the city. Yet, reconstruction has been made difficult by the closure of border crossings with Turkey that prevented the importation of goods such as cement, iron, medicines, food and technology.

(Source: AFP/ Yasin Akgul)

Enlarge
Children run through a huge hole in a wall at the school in Kobani. The Kurdish People’s Protection Units (YPG) reopened the first primary school in 2015, following the defeat of Daesh.
Reduce

Image 10 of 11:  10 / 11Children run through a huge hole in a wall at the school in Kobani. The Kurdish People’s Protection Units (YPG) reopened the first primary school in 2015, following the defeat of Daesh.

(Source: AFP/ Michalis Karagiannis)

Enlarge
An Afghan boy plays in the ruins of a house that at one point belonged to the 13th-century Perisan poet, Jalal ad-Din Muhammad Rumi, on the outskirts of Mazar-i-Sharif.
Reduce

Image 11 of 11:  11 / 11An Afghan boy plays in the ruins of a house that at one point belonged to the 13th-century Perisan poet, Jalal ad-Din Muhammad Rumi, on the outskirts of Mazar-i-Sharif.

(Source: AFP)

Enlarge

1

A displaced Syrian child fleeing from Deir Ezzor city besieged by Daesh plays with a skipping rope. As a result of the Syrian crisis, some 2.5 million are living as refugee children in neighbouring countries. These children have lost their homes, schools and communities but do not give up on finding happiness in the small things that remain.

Image 1 of 11A displaced Syrian child fleeing from Deir Ezzor city besieged by Daesh plays with a skipping rope. As a result of the Syrian crisis, some 2.5 million are living as refugee children in neighbouring countries. These children have lost their homes, schools and communities but do not give up on finding happiness in the small things that remain.

(Source: AFP/ Delil Souleiman)

2

A boy head over heals in Douma, September 2016. The rebel-held city has been under blockage by Syrian government forces since 2013, causing shortages in food and medical supplies.

Image 2 of 11A boy head over heals in Douma, September 2016. The rebel-held city has been under blockage by Syrian government forces since 2013, causing shortages in food and medical supplies.

(Source: AFP/ Sameer al-Doumy)

3

Believing in positive change, a resident of Douma, Abu Ali al Bitar, started to transform former missiles into swings. 'I took something that used to kill and turned it into a toy that makes children smile. If children ask me what all the noise and smoke is I always say 'don't panic, it's just Allah giving you something new to play with.'

Image 3 of 11Believing in positive change, a resident of Douma, Abu Ali al Bitar, started to transform former missiles into swings. "I took something that used to kill and turned it into a toy that makes children smile. If children ask me what all the noise and smoke is I always say 'don't panic, it's just Allah giving you something new to play with."

(Source: AFP/ Sameer al-Doumy)

4

Playing in and with the ruins of war can be dangerous. Many children fall victim to unexploded ordnance rockets. Here Palestinian children play in a building destroyed during the 50-day war between Israel and Hamas militants in the summer of 2014 in Gaza City.

Image 4 of 11Playing in and with the ruins of war can be dangerous. Many children fall victim to unexploded ordnance rockets. Here Palestinian children play in a building destroyed during the 50-day war between Israel and Hamas militants in the summer of 2014 in Gaza City.

(Source: AFP/ Mohammed Abed)

5

Palestinian children play amidst wrecked cars in an impoverished area of the southern Gazan city of Khan Yunis. Since the blockade of the Gaza strip following Hamas’ takeover, the economy has declined, the import of necessary materials has been difficult and the strip has come under repeated attack by Israeli forces.

Image 5 of 11Palestinian children play amidst wrecked cars in an impoverished area of the southern Gazan city of Khan Yunis. Since the blockade of the Gaza strip following Hamas’ takeover, the economy has declined, the import of necessary materials has been difficult and the strip has come under repeated attack by Israeli forces.

(Source: AFP/ Thomas Coex)

6

A displaced Syrian boy, who fled Daesh stronghold Raqa, plays with a spinning top at a temporary camp in Syria. Photographer Delil Suleiman: “Sometimes I witness things that give me hope. I saw a truck that had just come in from Raqa. Dust covered the faces of all those on board. And as soon as the kids got off, two of them started playing.”

Image 6 of 11A displaced Syrian boy, who fled Daesh stronghold Raqa, plays with a spinning top at a temporary camp in Syria. Photographer Delil Suleiman: “Sometimes I witness things that give me hope. I saw a truck that had just come in from Raqa. Dust covered the faces of all those on board. And as soon as the kids got off, two of them started playing.”

(Source: AFP/ Delil Souleiman)

7

Displaced Iraqi children play on a makeshift swing at al-Khazir camp for the internally displaced, located between Irbil and Mosul. Fighting in Mosul, controlled by Daesh since 2014, has displaced as much as 255,000 people since last October.

Image 7 of 11Displaced Iraqi children play on a makeshift swing at al-Khazir camp for the internally displaced, located between Irbil and Mosul. Fighting in Mosul, controlled by Daesh since 2014, has displaced as much as 255,000 people since last October.

(Source: AFP)

8

Two children playing on their bikes in the ruins of the Shaar district, Aleppo. The battle for Aleppo, which ended with the Syrian government’s recapture of city in December 2016, was one of the most devastating battles in the Syrian civil war. It left around 31,000 people dead, displaced thousands and caused severe damages to the old city.

Image 8 of 11Two children playing on their bikes in the ruins of the Shaar district, Aleppo. The battle for Aleppo, which ended with the Syrian government’s recapture of city in December 2016, was one of the most devastating battles in the Syrian civil war. It left around 31,000 people dead, displaced thousands and caused severe damages to the old city.

(Source: AFP/ Joseph Eid)

9

Children swing on an electrical wire hanging off a damaged building in Kobani. After the liberalization from Daesh in 2015, many people have returned to the city. Yet, reconstruction has been made difficult by the closure of border crossings with Turkey that prevented the importation of goods such as cement, iron, medicines, food and technology.

Image 9 of 11Children swing on an electrical wire hanging off a damaged building in Kobani. After the liberalization from Daesh in 2015, many people have returned to the city. Yet, reconstruction has been made difficult by the closure of border crossings with Turkey that prevented the importation of goods such as cement, iron, medicines, food and technology.

(Source: AFP/ Yasin Akgul)

10

Children run through a huge hole in a wall at the school in Kobani. The Kurdish People’s Protection Units (YPG) reopened the first primary school in 2015, following the defeat of Daesh.

Image 10 of 11Children run through a huge hole in a wall at the school in Kobani. The Kurdish People’s Protection Units (YPG) reopened the first primary school in 2015, following the defeat of Daesh.

(Source: AFP/ Michalis Karagiannis)

11

An Afghan boy plays in the ruins of a house that at one point belonged to the 13th-century Perisan poet, Jalal ad-Din Muhammad Rumi, on the outskirts of Mazar-i-Sharif.

Image 11 of 11An Afghan boy plays in the ruins of a house that at one point belonged to the 13th-century Perisan poet, Jalal ad-Din Muhammad Rumi, on the outskirts of Mazar-i-Sharif.

(Source: AFP)

Reduce

Advertisement

Add a new comment

 avatar