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The social Effect of Terrorists' Attacks on Children

Syria is facing a global war, and acts of terrorism, which have been perpetrated by armed terrorist groups for a year and a half in many places in our beautiful country. Terrorism scares everyone because no one knows when or where it will take place.

Representing a high  percent of the Syrian society and being the most vulnerable group , children have been critically affected.

Emotional and physical responses:

Emotional responses vary in nature and severity from child to another, but there are some similarities in how children (and even adults) feel when their lives, houses, or when those whom they love are affected by terrorist attacks:

. Fear: it is may be the predominant reaction .

. Loss of control: they may refuse to cooperate, or go to school or leave their toys, and their parents.

. Anger: it is a common reaction, children may direct anger toward classmate, parents, or neighbors, because they are not able to express their anger against terrorism.

. Loss of stability: children can feel insecure when their usual schedules and activities are disrupted, or if they are not in their houses, these things increase their level of stress and need for reassurance.

. Isolation : the children who have a father in the Army, or who are staying with relatives ,they experience the loss of familiarity with the place or surroundings

. Confusion: this can occur when the dangers take place for a long time, they begin to ask:  “when the violence will stop? When are we going back to our home? Etc...” Some children do not understand the difference between violence as entertainment , and the real events taking place in their country, that is because of media and cartoon superheroes, so they have difficulty separating reality from fancy .

These emotions or feelings will lead the child sometime to losing sleep, not eating, crying, or increasing level of violence, and worrying too much as to even get sick.

Pre-school children:

The preschool children fear separation more than death, they are not really interested in the details of the world’s  politics, nor will they demand to know the details of the death toll or devastation. They are most concerned about whether their families will be well and stay together, in general they do not understand the end of death,they believe that death is a temporary condition. They worry more about being separated from their parents than about dying.

The following are some suggestions, when talking with your child about the recent terrorist attacks by the foreign-backed armed terrorist groups :

. Reassure your child that he or she is safe ,and our military soldiers are very brave to defend us.

. Limit the number of details given to your child to the simplest explanations.

. Be honest without sharing all your worries or fears.

.Limit your child’s exposure to news reports and discussions of the vast consequences of this crisis.

. Continue routines that the child is familiar with, and avoid unexpected separation, even if you are not in your house.

. Ask your child if he or she has any worries.

. Spend extra time with your child in useful activities.

School age children:

School age children will ask many questions, but they may misunderstand the information they are given, so it is extremely important for parents and teachers to check with children regarding their understanding of things, they may incorrectly understand the things that happen around them, or they may fear their school is likely to be attacked .Thus, children in this age, range require a great deal of explanation, and a limited amount of information.

Here are some suggestions when talking with school age children :

. Answer your child’s question without providing all the details.

. Check your child’s understanding of the situation after discussions, since school age children may misinterpret information resulting in panic or fear.

. Encourage your child to talk about his or her worries, and unpleasant feelings as well as altruistic thoughts.

. Invite participation of your child in altruistic actions such as collecting money, sending clothes, toys or other items to families in need.

.Expect some repetition in the discussion about terrorists or terrorist attacks.

. It is important to limit exposure to media coverage of violence.

Children who have lost their parents or family:

These children have suffered a lot, they may have many psychological disorders, aggressive behavior, many nightmares, dreams and loss of hope. For those children there must be many psychosocial programs as to limit the effects on children, prevent further harmful events, and strengthen their coping mechanisms. They must have comprehensive mental health services, the Syrian charity  society hand by hand must help them.

Actually, terrorism, and the stress associated with terror alerts, can have devastating effects on children and families. Teachers and parents can help by teaching their children how to be secure and conscious.

Botheina Alnounou

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Displaced Syrian family: Our House Ransacked, Stolen and Burnt by Armed Terrorist Groups

Just because they support the security and stability of their homeland, refuse to participate in strikes,  refuse to join the conspiracy against their country, many Syrian families were executed and many others were displaced from their homes by armed terrorist groups who have been terrorizing the Syrian people for more than a year and a half in different parts of the Syria.

"We left our home in "al-Tadamun" district three months ago fearing daily threats by armed groups calling themselves "Free Army". They used to terrorize the peaceful people of the district urging them to join what they called "revolution" or be slaughtered," Samiha, a 39 years old housewife told the Syria Times.

The armed groups have ransacked houses, stole everything possible, kidnapped and brutally killed innocent people simply  because they support their President, she added.

Samiha, who is now staying at her parents' house with her husband and her three kids, said "a week after our departure, our neighbor Abou Khaled, a good man fromDaraa, phoned my husband telling him that some of the armed groups’ members had occupied our home and stayed in it. I was terribly shocked, but at the same time I thanked God that my family was safe.”
"A week ago and after the Syrian army forces had entered the district to clean it from terrorists, we had the opportunity to go home. There was the horrible scene, the house was stolen, completely sabotaged and burnt by the armed terrorist groups before they fled the area. That moment I broke into tears as it was a disaster to my family, because, as you know, it is difficult within the current circumstances to buy a new house." 

 Samiha's husband, Amjad, 45, works as chef in one of Damascus big restaurants and has heart problems, said: "the house is all what I have. It is a big loss. I hired an apartment at 8.000 (SYP) which is too much for my income. Besides, my work has been badly affected by the country's events and I'm struggling now to keep my job."     

Samiha described herself as “lucky”, because she found a place to stay in, but felt so sad for other displaced families who lost their homes and couldn't find a shelter except in schools or mosques and for the families who lost their loved ones. 

When asked whether the crisis has affected her morals, she answered: "On the contrary,  the crisis has deepened our love to our country and strengthened our adherence to preserving its unity and to foil the conspiracy against Syria."

"I still feel optimistic, it is true that we lost our house but we are still alive and can start again." Samiha said.

Samiha’s story is only a simple example, many families were forced to leave their homes after their areas were ransacked by terrorists. Some rented small apartments or even rooms, and others simply just don’t have enough cash to rent a good house, and they only depend on schools, gardens, and on aid offered by governmental, non government organizations and local charities.

Hamda Mustafa




The ideal way to bring your children up

Family and its foundation is the manner of life for immortality. Children are the offspring of the family. Children are the continuity of man in life. How miserable life is for a married couple without children! Life for them is unbearable and sorrow fills their hearts. They will die without leaving any sign in the world.

Children are the adornment of the world. They represent life and hope. To create an ideal young generation, parents have a duty towards this real gift. They should know how to bring them up well. Parents should teach their children values such as generosity, modesty, courage, respect, truthfulness, sacrifice and  love for their homeland and for people.

All children should be brought up showing respect for their parents, neighbors and teachers. They should be taught how to be modest when they achieve success or fame and not show off. They should know how to be courageous in the face of danger and how to depend upon themselves. They should be taught how to be faithful, truthful and brave to tell the truth. Children should be taught how to be kind and friendly to their relatives and friends.

It is important to make our children see when we give money particularly to the needy, when we offer help or kindness to others. Parents are the real mirror for their children. Children usually follow their parents' suit. Good parents create good and fair children. You can't ask your child to be good if you behave in a wrong way. Ideal parents can educate their children perfectly.

It is not good to be too lenient all the time with our children. We should be strict to prevent them of behaving badly. To punish or deprive children of pleasant things sometimes yields positive results. Coquetry and lenience spoil their life and make children selfish and dependent.

Human instinct rejects dictatorship because it leads to suppression and humiliation. Harsh treatment also destroys the character and deprives children of their humanity. Surely, this will affect negatively on the course of their life.

We shouldn’t forget that motivation is a very important factor in the life of our children. They need more encouragement and praise. When they do something good, we should be glad and show them our happiness to urge and motivate them to do more good deeds.

The language of polite dialogue is very significant between children and their families. This kind of sublime behavior generates warm and close relation and creates mutual confidence among the members of the family.

In fact, bringing up children is a very difficult matter particularly at present time. We should pay more attention to their behaviors and correct what is wrong. The society and the environment we live in have great effect on them. We should be aware of the difficulties they face .It is very important to listen to them and solve their problems. It is true that we (parents) provide money, food and shelter, but what is more is to be close friends. It is necessary to understand them and respect their feelings.

It is very important to ensure an atmosphere of security and tranquility to our children to live a happy and stable life. It is wise to teach them how to lead a life of virtue. By doing so we will establish a strong and fortified generation that will be able to create a virtuous society.


Sharif al Khatib




The power of Passion Change

We talk a lot about the power of military , economic, political and abut other powers of change that control life, affecting people and society alike.

However, we rarely talk about the power of passion’s change which plays critical role in the life of people more than- as I think- all previous powers. If passion is sincere and real, it will be stronger than money, arms and politics in the history of human beings.

To illustrate, I will narrate a story of a man and a woman which strongly indicates that the power of passion’s change could improve the conditions of a man or a woman. The hero of our story is a young and successful physician. During his career he fell in love with a girl, and got married to her and had a child. Afterwards, the young physician was obliged to leave the country looking for a hi-tech medical center that could deal with his sudden grave sickness. During his long stay abroad, his wife asked him to divorce her; he was shocked.

After recovery, he relentlessly tried to reunite with her, but she refused as she told him that she was in love with another person.  Hence, he understood her behavior wishing her a good life. He said to himself that his wife was sincere and didn't want to cheat him, so he accepted this situation.

The power of love soon came when he fell in love with another woman of a bad reputation. Challenging his family, he married her confirming that love is bigger than anything else.

Here the power and amazing ability of love became clear through the ability of the physician to endure all of the gossip about his marriage of the second woman, as well as through  the new look and good image of his second wife as a civilized educated person, who, because of real love, did  succeed to lead her public life positively.

So, we can say that the sincere and honest love has the power to change a person from a devil, if to say,  to an angel!

Raghda  Sawas