More than 900 days after the start of the war in Syria, thousands of Syrian children returned to school on Sunday. Lina Sergie Attar, who runs Camp Zeitouna, a program that seeks to provide education and support to displaced Syrian children joined HuffPost Live’s WorldBrief with Ahmed Shihab-Eldin to discuss the commitment to childhood education in Syria.
In recent weeks, many schools in Syria were converted into makeshift barracks in anticipation of a U.S. strike on the country. As the fear of a strike has subsided, the schools have reopened, but challenges to children’s education persist.
“[Even children] in liberated Syria in the north [are] at the mercy of terrorist groups ... and Assad planes that consistently bomb them from the sky,” says Attar.
One in five schools in Syria -- nearly 4,000 total -- has been damaged, destroyed or used as a shelter over the course of the war. UNICEF reports that schools housing displaced families confront severe overcrowding, sometimes accommodating as many as 100 children in a single class.
As Shihab-Eldin noted, the fact that schools remain open in Syria at all is a testament to the high value Syrians assign to education.
Attar echoed this sentiment.
“The resilience of the Syrian people is extraordinary," she said. "We don’t have anything in Syria for our future except for the children that hopefully we can inspire, that they would someday lead a peaceful, prosperous Syria.”
Watch the full segment below:
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