These are our children, Part 2

“And then we ran away. Then we went in our home with our mothers. Everyone got in (the car). We carried some of our clothes. Then we came here (Istanbul).”

By Deryal Yuksel

In last Wednesday’s post , we introduced you to Hasan, Hatun, Hanna, and Ali, child refugees from Aleppo, Syria, who currently live in Istanbul, Turkey. Their story continues in this photo essay.

Unfortunately, most refugees experience indifference and neglect. We must recognize that change is never easy, especially if you are missing your homeland that no longer exists. It will make a big difference if we sharpen our senses and expand our outlook on humanity.  Take a moment to hear the stories of these four children.

*The quotes in the photo captions  come directly from the children and are translated into English.

“Then we carried our grandfather to the room. Then he died too.”


*Hasan taught me to sing one of his favorite songs in Arabic, Safer Ya Habibi. The translation of the song is “Travel my beloved, and return.”

“I am this many years old.”


“People take our photographs on the streets and then offer us money.”

“We moved to Istanbul four years ago.”

“We are bringing some clothes home.”

“The people here do not let us pose for their photographs the way that we would like to. They tell us to lift our arm, and do what they tell us to do and this bothers us a lot. They do not treat us right.”

“My father’s brother died. A bomb hit him and killed him.”

“My sister was born in our house in Turkey.”

“We are going to hang the photographs in our home.”

*On the streets, the children were offering small antique keys to promote peace.

Note from Kathie MM: I hope we will all do what these Syrian refugee children are requesting: Promote peace for all.  If we do not promote peace for everyone, there will be peace for no one.

This entry was posted in Armed conflict, Champions of peace, child abuse, Children and war, Economy and war, gun violence, Perspective-taking, Poetry and the arts, politics, Poverty, racism, Stories of engagement, Understanding violence and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink.

One Response to These are our children, Part 2

  1. Barbara says:

    Hasun’s song has a haunting title when you think of all the beloved travelers who travel but never return. I hope some writer of songs will see this article with its series of touching little faces and compose a fitting song to honor them.

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