Meet the four Darwish siblings, Hala 11, Mounir 9, Masa 7, and Maria 5. They all live with their parents in this Damascus basement originally an unfinished car parking along with 20 other displaced families.
Their education had been interrupted by fighting and multi displacements. Hala is now in the second grade, she is supposed to be in the fifth. Mounir is in first grade, he is supposed to be in fourth grade. Masa and Maria are not going to school, both of them are at the school age.
The family had been living in this basement since 2012 when they were forced to flee their home in Daraya city in rural Damascus. Hala and Mounir told us that they dream of returning to their home.
Masa and Maria agreed even despite lacking any knowledge of their family’s home. Masa was just one-year-old when her family left the home, while Maria was born at the shelter. “I remember the old neighborhood, the people, and the school,” said Hala “I was in the first grade when we left.”
Mounir has some memories too; he used to play with his friends in the street in front of their house. Daraya city is currently besieged, and the family has no idea about the condition of their home.
Photo: © UNHCR \ Q. Alazroni