Syrian orphans who fled Aleppo find new home
More than six million people — a quarter of Syria’s pre-war population — have been displaced inside the country
Noor Ghanem, 13, left, helps other Syrian orphans as they study at an orphanage in Jarablus. JARABLUS, SYRIA—NEARLY 50 children orphaned by the Syrian war escaped the hell that was their hometown of Aleppo after they appeared in a distressing video and appealed for their lives as government forces moved in under a hail of fire.
In the year and half since, the children and their instructors have been uprooted twice more: once to escape similar bombardment in another rebel stronghold and again when they fled a town that has been overwhelmed by people seeking shelter from Syria’s war.
The orphanage first established in rebel-held eastern Aleppo, known as the Center for the Exceptional, has finally landed in a small house in the sleepy northern town of Jarablus, which was once a hub for Daesh militants along the border with Turkey but has been governed by a Turkey-backed administration since 2016.
More than six million people — nearly a quarter of Syria’s pre-war population — have been displaced inside Syria because of the war. For Aleppo’s orphans, the war trauma and the loss of parents were compounded by the recurrent uprooting from the only familiar place they knew.
The fall of Aleppo came after one of the most devastating battles of the civil war, now in its eighth year. Syria’s largest city was for years divided between rebel- and government-controlled areas.
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