Born into battle, 10-year previous Syrian youngster is household’s breadwinner By Reuters


© Reuters. Mohammed Abu Rdan works at a cleansing merchandise manufacturing facility, in northern Aleppo


By Mahmoud Hassouna

ALEPPO, Syria (Reuters) – Mohammed Abu Rdan has recognized nothing however battle all through his quick life.

Born in rural Aleppo in 2011 when peaceable protests in opposition to President Bashar al-Assad’s authorities started, his childhood is something however typical.

The protests rapidly was a multi-sided battle that has sucked in world powers, killed tons of of 1000’s of individuals and displaced thousands and thousands extra and with it upended Abu Rdan’s life.

Now residing in a displaced peoples’ camp in northern Aleppo, Abu Rdan has develop into his household’s essential breadwinner after coronary heart illness rendered his father unfit to work.

Like for a lot of different Syrian youngsters, college has develop into a distant dream.

“We had a home and I used to go to highschool on a regular basis.. however we got here right here… they destroyed our home and our college,” Abu Rdan mentioned.

The United Nations’ Kids’s Fund (UNICEF) mentioned earlier this month that 90% of youngsters within the nation are in want of humanitarian help, a 20% enhance over the previous yr alone.


Ten years into the battle, nearly 2.45 million youngsters in Syria and a further 750,000 Syrian youngsters in neighbouring international locations are out of college, UNICEF figures present.

Abu Rdan wakes up at daybreak daily and braves the chilly to face by the aspect of the freeway and hitch a journey for the ten kms (6.2 miles) to the cleansing merchandise manufacturing facility the place he works.

His lengthy working days, largely as much as 10 hours, earn him 100 Turkish liras ($13) a month. It’s all the revenue his household makes.

Abu Rdan is paid in Turkey’s foreign money as he lives and works in an space managed by Turkish-backed rebels, having fled from his hometown, the village of Marshoureen which is now government-held.

Assad now holds sway over many components of the nation, helped by Russia’s army and Iran’s Shi’ite militias however Turkey, which backed rebels who sought to overthrow him, has energy over swathes of territory within the northwest.

UNICEF says greater than 75% of grave violations in opposition to youngsters recorded in Syria in 2020 – together with killing, maiming, recruitment into combating, sexual violence and assaults on colleges – have been within the northwest.

Packing items into massive sacks, a few of them twice his dimension, Abu Rdan is so exhausted by the point he goes again dwelling he can do nothing however eat and sleep.

“Once I come again from work I am so drained, I simply put my head down and I am out,” he mentioned.

He shares a tent along with his dad and mom and three sisters that does little to defend them from Syria’s harsh winter that features torrential rain and snow.

To maintain heat, he has develop into an knowledgeable at making his personal cup of tea, working the gasoline cylinder with the boldness of a grown up.

Having been propelled into tasks far past his age, the 10-year previous handles lots of day by day chores with the experience of a a lot older man.

However he’s nonetheless a baby, guffawing and taking part in along with his three sisters within the tent.