Iraq, February 2014. 3 year old Hakim is peeping out a worn tent in the Domiz refugee camp in Northern Iraq.
(children’s names have been changed)
Notes from the field:
We saw a small boy (Hakim, 3 name changed) peeping out of a worn tent. Inside, we met his mother (Fatema) and younger sister, along with a pregnant family friend. The two women are friends and neighbours in the camp. They have been in Domiz for a year.
o Life in the camp: They were worried about the condition of their tents. The most afraid of the storms in Domiz because their tent wont withstand it. They said they were worried, lonely, cold, tired and a bit fed up because there were things like no nappies. Being pregnant in the camp is difficult and the pregnant mother isnt having regular check-ups. They said the water provision was really good and that they had enough (UNICEF) blankets. They have been getting clean water and that was good.
o Leaving Syria: The families left Syria because their husbands were being threatened with conscription and joining the military. Their husbands left Syria urgently. The pregnant mothers husband had to go without her or the children, leaving her to follow, with her little boy and only the items she could get on the donkey. Hakims family walked for three hours in the Winter to escape (at the time Hakim was 2 years old and his sister was just 5 months).
o Life in Syria was terrifying. They talked about the explosions and about seeing men who had been slaughtered. Some of their friends had family members, where they had been slaughtered and then the family had been sent a video afterwards. There were also incidences of kidnapping of women as well.
o In Hakims home in Syria they had planted onions and enjoyed eating them they cant do this any more. The children didn’t understand anything that was happening in Syria, but they were still very frightened by the noises. They talked about how husbands would go out to get bread for
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