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SYRIA’S CHILD REFUGEES

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    Refugees walk through the overcrowded Al Za'atri refugee camp for Syrians near Mafraq, Jordan.
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    Reem, 13, talks with a friend at the Al Za'atri refugee camp. Reem is a Syrian refugee suffering from mental health issues, and has been living in a tent at the Za'atri camp with her her family since January 2013. While she was in Syria, Reem witnessed several armed conflicts, killing, bombing and kidnapping that caused her to experience overwhelming fear, nightmares, isolation and irritability. Reem has since undergone psychotherapy sessions and significant improvements have been observed.
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    Reem, 13, spends time wither her siblings in her family tent at the Al Za'atri refugee camp.
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    Children gather at an enclave of tents at the Al Za'atri refugee camp for Syrians.
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    Reem spends a quiet moment alone at the Al Za'atri refugee camp.
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    Lamia, 13, and Sumaya, 15, wash dishes outside their tent in the middle of the desert in Ereinbeh, Jordan. The refugees work on adjacent farm most days picking tomatoes and squash. When not working on the farm, the children handle chores, sit around or play near their tents.
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    A young Syrian refugee, Muna, 16, is interviewed in her family tent located in the desert in Ereinbeh, Jordan.
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    Bilal, 14, a Syrian refugee, occupies his time with his cell phone in his family's tent. He has been in Jordan since August 2012, having fled from the family's hometown of Hasakeh, Syria. His parents made Bilal and his siblings leave Syria out of fear that his sisters might be raped and that Bilal might be enlisted in the military or the Free Syrian Army. The siblings left behind their parents and four other siblings, and now live in a tent with their paternal grandmother Khansa, who is in her 80's.
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    Muna, 16, makes a phone call outside her family tent located in the desert of Ereinbeh, Jordan.
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    Sumaya, 15, shops for clothes in a local shop in Mafraq, Jordan. The previous night, Sumaya's family tent was robbed at gunpoint and all of their belongings were stolen.
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    A refugee stands over a fire in an isolated enclave of tents.
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    A group of refugee men play a marble game in Ereinbeh, Jordan.
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    Refugee children gather by the fire in the middle of the desert between the Syrian and Iraqi borders in Ereinbeh, Jordan.
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    Aya, 12, stands in the doorway of her home in Amman, Jordan. Aya suffers from mental health issues that have been exacerbated by the hardships of being a refugee and living through the war. She fled her home in Daraa, Syria to come to Jordan with her parents, sister, and younger brother in October of 2012. Her family is now living amongst other Syrian refugees, including extended family members, in a poor area of Amman.
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    Rihab, 37, is interviewed in her family tent at the Domiz camp for Syrian refugees outside of Dohuk, Iraq. Rihab fled Damascus, Syria with her husband Mohammed, 42, and three daughters more than a year ago.
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    Mohammed, 42, and his wife Rihab, 37, withdraw to their family tent at the Domiz Camp.
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    Jihan, 16, sits anxiously in the family tent at the Domiz camp for Syrian refugees.
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    Refugees gather at the Domiz Refugee camp for Syrians.
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    A refugee moves building materials at the Domiz Camp.
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    Mazgen, 19, takes in the sunlight outside of her family tent at Domiz Refugee Camp. Mazgen, who is physically and mentally ill, is living with her parents.
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    Children eat candy at the market in the Domiz Camp for Syrian Refugees.
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    Children play in the Domiz camp for Syrian refugees just outside of Dohuk, Iraq.
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    Refugees browse piles of clothing for sale in the Domiz Camp.
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    Mazgen, 19, who is physically and mentally ill, rests in her family's tent with her father, Sabri and mother, Shams, in the Domiz Refugee Camp.
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    Young girls practice a dance together at the Domiz Refugee Camp for Syrians.
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    A woman dries her son after a bath at the Domiz Refugee Camp.
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    A refugee family squeezes into a car at the Domiz Camp for Syrian Refugees.
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    Children climb wire pillars for entertainment in the Domiz camp.
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    Children hang festive decorations in the Domiz Refugee Camp.
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    Refugee children peer in through the window at the International Medical Corps (IMC) facility in the Domiz Camp. IMC is working to increase awareness and improve both physical and mental health among young refugees plagued by depression, fear, suffering, and the sense of a life turned upside down.
Syria’s Child Refugees

Since Syria’s civil war began in March 2011, more than 2 million people seeking sanctuary from the raging violence have fled to neighboring countries. The chaos and violence have given rise to a noticeable increase in mental illness in displaced refugees, particularly among youth. With over half of the refugee population under the age of 18, the psychological and emotional stability of Syria’s exiled youth is of particular concern. A generation whose homeland once boasted a middle-class economy with over 90 percent school enrollment has personally witnessed the shattering of their lives that has left them displaced and traumatized.

To reveal the turbulent lives of Syria’s displaced youth, Ed Kashi travelled to Iraq and Jordan, working alongside the International Medical Corps (IMC)—a humanitarian non-profit organization that provides aid and relief to those affected by conflict and crisis—to illustrate the plight of this lost generation. IMC is focused on increasing awareness and improving the physical the mental health of young refugees plagued by depression, fear, suffering, and the sense of a life turned upside down. Refugees are increasingly living in camps, both rural and urban, in host countries like Jordan and Iraq. The youth residing in these refugee camps represent part of Syria’s next generation; one stuck in limbo in a foreign land with diminishing hope to return.

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