Sunday 11 December 2016

Spare a thought for the children of Syria, where going back to school is just a dream

Brid Kennedy

Published 01/09/2016 | 02:30

Displaced children at the Za'Atari Refugee Camp in Jordan close to the Syrian border Picture: Mark Condren
Displaced children at the Za'Atari Refugee Camp in Jordan close to the Syrian border Picture: Mark Condren

While browsing the stationery aisle of my local supermarket last week, I saw a little girl faced with an agonising dilemma. She was studying two pencil cases meticulously, her blue eyes darting from one case to another, forensically examining the zips and the fabric while at the same time imagining what each one would look like on her desk.

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She was choosing wisely. After all, the pencil case is a crucial and fashionable component in helping her get through the daily grind of school life. She turned and looked up to the person she trusted the most for advice and asked inquisitively: 'Mum, will I get the pink one . . . or . . . the green one?'

The pink one emerged the winner and she sauntered off with her mother in hot pursuit of more back-to-school essentials.

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