Wednesday, September 12, 2012
By an Amnesty International researcher in Lebanon
11 September 2012
"Tanks, shells and mortars are hardly the norm in children’s drawings, not to mention a bloodied face or arm.
But when I recently gave paper and crayons to Syrian children who have taken refuge in Lebanon, their artistic efforts drove home how most have seen horrors that no child should have to witness.
The children and their parents are among 50 families taking shelter in a mosque in Arsal, near the Syrian border. The large influx of those fleeing the fighting has strained the building’s sanitary infrastructure.
Najib, an agricultural worker from al-Qusayr near Homs, told me his story.
He had arrived in Arsal with his family a few weeks earlier in mid-August 2012.
“When the [Syrian] army attacked al-Qusayr, they bombed our neighbourhood and we saw the soldiers with their guns in streets, shooting at people. We took the children and we ran away. I did not know where to go, we heard shooting and we were scared. We arrived in the fields outside the city and we stayed there for 10 days, under the trees. When I think about what happened, I feel very bad.”
When Najib’s family arrived across the border in Arsal, they had no place to go. After sleeping in the streets for a week, they were finally told they could live in the mosque’s basement, underneath the stairs......"