Residents of Kasra in Deir ez-Zour have put children at the heart of a public realm rehabilitation project, building a playground to help restore normality to the lives of traumatised youngsters.
In the town of Kasra, in the west of Deir ez-Zour Province, the local municipality has launched a campaign to rehabilitate the public park and amusement park as part of their broader efforts to rebuild their area and provide an entertainment space for children.
Like other towns in Deir ez-Zour, the town of Kasra suffered immensely under ISIS rule, as both the economy and infrastructure were destroyed. Amongst the most affected group in the town were the children, who witnessed painful scenes and were forced to participate in the militant group’s indoctrination. As a result, the rehabilitation of the park was an attempt by the municipality to restore normality to the traumatised children.
“As you know, over the past eight years, we have witnessed immense destruction of all infrastructure, and this has a negative impact on children and their lives,” said Ghaith al-A’jeel, a municipality official. “We set up an amusement park in the Martyrs’ Park to give more attention to the children.”
According to local officials, the municipality is also planning on building a football stadium and sports centre for the town’s youth.
Since the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) liberated the city from ISIS rule in 2017, the local government has made massive efforts to rehabilitate and beautify the town, to encourage residents to resume normal life as it was before ISIS.
Many streets, neighbourhoods, and roundabouts have been rehabilitated over the past two years for this purpose.
Locals have expressed their happiness at the municipality’s efforts to rebuild the town and provide outlets for their children.
“Amid these wars, children have lost the joy of life. We want to thank everyone who contributed to the rehabilitation of the [public] park and the establishment of an amusement park for children,” said Emad al-Ahmed, a resident of Kasra. “I hope they build more than one amusement park in the area so that children won’t stay in the streets.”
With many areas in the country regaining relative stability, local governments have planned and implemented several projects to assist residents in recommencing their lives. The focus on children has been a highlight of these movements, as many have observed that this generation has been impacted dramatically by the wars that took place, and thus must be rehabilitated for the country to move forward in the future.