Thousands of Syrian children are stranded in camps in Lebanon and a refugee from Homs is educating some of them about coexistence.
Homs in Syria has been ravaged by the war in Syria for the past 7 years. The Homs region has been a centre of rebel resistance to the regime. While the city has stayed under the control of the regime, a northern pocket of territory to the north of the city remains under rebel control.
The conflict between rebel factions, mostly consisting of the Free Syrian Army (FSA) and Ahrar al-Sham, and the rebel forces, has led to the displacement of thousands of people from the Homs region.
One man, Aburrahim Hassayan, who was displaced from his native Homs has sought refuge in neighbouring Lebanon. Before leaving Homs he had been a preacher at his local mosque and was a teacher. He is now occupied with refugee relief and focuses his activities on the education of Syrian children.
He works at a school established in cooperation with the Lebanese Malak Assocaition at the Ihsan camp in Lebanon in 2014. The school has thus far received around 450 Syrian children from camps in the Miniara plains. The children are enrolled into the Lebanese-French curriculum.
Syrian children there are offered music and art lessons as well as sports activities. They are provided with a daily meal.
Abdurrahim witnessed the grave consequences of sectarianism and the resulting civil conflict that has ensued in Syria for a number of years now. He is thus eager to instil values of tolerance in Syrian children in order to foment a culture conducive to coexistence among Syria’s various communities, ethnicities and religious denominations.
Syrian children living in IDP camps within Syria are not always as fortunate as they do not receive an education in their camps in most cases. A lack of international attention and humanitarian aid has prevented children from receiving an education. There is much reliance on volunteers to provide teaching in IDP camps throughout the country.