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Syria: Kids at Resafa … where are they now?

I recently read a post from a fellow traveller and blogger Lisa (aka @chickybus). The post featured a photograph of two young boys that she met whilst in Aleppo, Syria before the war and asked… “Where are they now, are they OK?”

Lisa’ post was Two Boys, Arm in Arm, in Aleppo, Syria — Before the War.

This post struck accord with me as I often ask myself these same questions about some of the people that I met when I went to Syria a few years ago. This blog is all about looking back and recalling memories of people and places from my travels, in particular (for me), the people I’ve met stand out. Hence my obsession with portraits…

From my experience once you’ve been to a country and met the people you have a totally different view of their world. When you hear things are going bad in place you’ve visited you ‘care’ in a way you wouldn’t if you’ve never been there. This is especially true when countries you’ve been to go to war.

Of course I’ll never really know what it is like for the people I’ve met, nor will I ever really understand why the war in Syria is happening, but that doesn’t stop me caring and wondering how the people I’ve met are doing.

I too went to Aleppo and it is appalling to hear the devastation that has been inflicted on that city and others like Homs. Of all the people and places I encountered whilst in Syria though it was the children I met at the ruins of the Roman city at Resafa that I always think of first.

I was at Resafa with a group and as usual I wondered off on my own, well I like to explore, and I found a gap in the city wall and went to have a look and to have a sit down as it was very hot. Whilst I sat there three young kids came running over from a tent some distance away. They were a little shy, but curious about this odd looking man sitting on the city wall. None of them spoke English, but we managed to have a conversation – you know, one of those ones where neither party have a clue what the other is saying. The boy was very curious about the camera as you can see from the shot above – I think he was trying to explain what it was to the two little ones.

At the time it looked like they were living in a tent by the Roman ruins as a woman called them back to the tent you can see in the photograph below.

These were sweet, inquisitive kids and a memory I’ll always have from my visit to Syria, but when I here things about the ongoing war I really worry about how they are doing – are they safe? How have they been effected by the war?

And more alarmingly, are they still alive?

Let’s hope they are all OK!

Lisa’s post was timely as I’ve been wondering about those young kids at Resafa, but it also goes in some small way to reminding people that the war in Syria hasn’t gone away and that people are still dying over there.

It is my hope that the situation is resolved peacefully soon so that the Syrian people can get back to some form of normality (though things will never be the same). And, from a purely selfish point of view I admit, because I’d like to go back there one day!!


Jonathan (retrotraveller)

Let’s hope so Lisa 🙂

Lisa @chickybus

I got goosebumps as I read this and looked at your photos. The kids are beautiful and the image is haunting….I can imagine the encounter you had with them–how even though you didn’t speak their language, there was some sort of communication and connection.

I’m glad you wrote this. Maybe if more of us do this, we can send positive energy to Syria as we continue to hope, as the Syrians do, that the war will end soon.

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