The Syrian Civil War has produced over four million refugees and it is stated that nearly half of the displaced are children.
As the right-wing politicians preach messages that promote fear and hatred towards an assembly of people already victimized by war, these children wait. They wait for someone, anyone, to shelter them with the compassion and love we are all capable of — when our knees aren’t trembling.
While the ever-growing threat of terrorism is something we certainly should be mindful of, are we really going to allow our own fear to prevent us from reaching out and doing the right thing?
The photo project Where the Children Sleep by Photojournalist Magnus Wennman is something our Republican friends really need to see.
These poignant images reveal a reality that is in stark contrast to the coercive rhetoric of fear that permeates the right-wing talking points.
These children are not ISIS. They are victims of ISIS.
A young Syrian boy holds his mothers hand after crossing the border from Serbia to Hungary. Most refugees don't know what will happen to them after arriving. Me and @wiman1 got a lot of questions today when we were walking near the border. Will they be fingerprinted? Will they be sent back? Can they travel to the next destination? #icare #refugees #serbia #hungary #syria #war #young #boy #holdinghands @aftonbladetnyheter
Today, you will find my story "Where the children sleep" on aftonbladet.se. Link is in my bio. And on Thursday my exhibition (with the same name) will open at @fotografiska. Sham 1 year old Roszke/Horgos. In the very front, just alongside the border between Serbia and Hungary by the 4-meter-high iron gate, Sham is laying in his mother’s arms. Just a few decimeters behind them is the Europe they so desperately are trying to reach. Only one day before, the last refugees were allowed through and taken by train to Austria. But Sham and his mother arrived too late, along with thousands of other refugees who now wait outside the closed Hungarian border.
Fatima is nine years old and lives in a rental apartment in Norberg, Sweden with her mother Malachi and two brothers. Fatima is from Idlib in Syria. At night she dreams that she falls of a boat in the middle of the ocean. The same boat that smuggled them from Libya to the Italian coast a while ago. #syria #refugee #nightmare #dream #photojournalism #work #canon #fatima
Shiraz, 9, was three months old when she was stricken with a severe fever. The doctor diagnosed polio and advised her parents to not spend too much money on medicine for the girl who "didn't have a chance." Then the war came. Her mother, Leila, starts crying when she describes how she wrapped the girl in a blanket and carried her over the border from Kobane to Turkey. Shiraz, who can't talk, received a wooden cradle in the refugee camp. She lies there. Day and night. Link to the full story in my bio! #jagbryrmig #icare #syria #kobane #suruc #turkey #refugee #polio #photojournalism
Rahma, 10, was born with a visual impairment. In Dar'a where she's from, her parents had put her in a special school for visually impaired children. She liked the school and felt safe in its building. When the war started, the family fled. A hospital along the way offered Rahma an operation but it was unsuccessful and now she is completely blind. "I never go out", she says. "I just sit here in the tent." // full story in my bio //#icare #jagbryrmig #childrenofsyria #lebanon #syria #blind #portrait #photojournalism @aftonbladetnyheter
Met this young girl Jinan in Azraq refugee camp, Jordan. She was carrying water from the well to her house, a white barack in the middle of a huge camp. She does not know her age but she is one of 1,941,584 child refugees in camps along the Syrian border. #jagbryrmig #icare #syria #jordan #azrac #childrenofsyria #work #photojournalism @cbergfeldt @aftonbladetnyheter @sverige_for_unhcr
Walaa, 5, wants to go home. She had her own room in Aleppo, she tells us. There, she never used to cry at bedtime. Here, in the refugee camp, she cries every night. Resting her head on the pillow is horrible, she says, because nighttime is horrible. That was when the attacks happened. By day, Walaa’s mother often builds a little house out of pillows, to teach her that they are nothing to be afraid of. // link to full article in my bio
There’s a difference between closing your eyes and sleeping, as six-year-old Gulistan knows. She prefers to shut her eyes and just pretend, because every time she really falls asleep, the nightmares start. “I don’t want to sleep here. I want to sleep at home,” she says. She misses the pillow she had in Kobane. Sometimes she lies against her mother and uses her as a pillow. // link to full article in my bio
Mohammed, 13, loves houses. Back home, in Aleppo, he used to enjoy walking around the city looking at them. Now, many of his favourite buildings are gone, blown to pieces. Lying in his hospital bed, he wonders whether he will ever fulfill his dream of becoming an architect. “The strangest thing about war is that you get used to feeling scared. I wouldn’t have believed that,” says Mohammed. // link to full article in my bio.
Fara, 2, loves football. Her father tries to make footballs of all the material he could find. Every night when he says good night to Fara, and her older sister Tisam, 9, he hopes that they will wake up to a new day when they will get a real football to play with. All other dreams feels unattainable for him. Tomorrow you can se/read more about where the Syrian refugee children sleep when we start our series #jagbryrmig in @aftonbladetnyheter #syria #amman #jordan #war #refugees #childrenofsyria #syrien #homeless #photojournalism #work
Moyad, 5, and his mother wanted to bake a pie. Hand in hand they went to the market in Daraa to by some flour. They walked by a taxi, where someone had placed a bomb. Moyads mother died immediately. The boy, flown to Jordan, has shrapnel in his head, his back and his pelvis. Tomorrow you can se/read more about where the Syrian refugee children sleep when we start our series #jagbryrmig in @aftonbladetnyheter #syria #amman #jordan #war #refugees #childrenofsyria #syrien #homeless #photojournalism #work
Ralia, 7, and Rahaf, 13, lives on the street in Beirut. They come from Damascus, where a grenade killed their mother and brother. Together with their father, they have slept on the sidewalk for a year. They are always close to each other. Rahaf says she is afraid of "bad boys". When she says it Ralia starts to cry. Tomorrow you can se/read more about where the Syrian refugee children sleep when we start our series #jagbryrmig in @aftonbladetnyheter #syria #beirut #refugees #childrenofsyria #syrien #homeless #photojournalism #work
Shiar, 10 was crossing the border near Cobane. It was the middle of the night and he touched something on the ground. It was an IED. He only has three fingers left and his entire body is scarred for life. On Wednesday we start our series about #childrenofsyria in @aftonbladetnyheter So many strong stories to tell. #syria #turkey #sanliurfa #cobane #work #photojournalism #scarred
While the right-wing frets, here are ways you can help.
Featured image via Instagram/MagnusWennman