Her hula hoop having just swirled to her feet, Turkieh, an 8-year-old girl from Homs, answers a question:
‘My Mum went to buy bread and was coming back … And the sniper shot her,’
Turkieh explains, then gives the hoop another spin. Hers is one of several stories in “Inside Syria Exclusive Video: Children at War,” published this week at GlobalPost. Made in homes in Homs and Qsier, the video reveals how war in Syria has affected the country’s children. The conflict is due to pass the 2-year mark next month. The civilian death toll “is probably now approaching 70,000,” the U.N. High Commissioner for Human Rights, Navi Pillay, told the Security Council on Tuesday. That number is staggering, hard to visualize. The video is not: the stories told by a few children, in fewer than 6 minutes, give faces, voices, to the violence.
It is hard watching. Not because there are tears, as the viewer might expect, but rather because no tears are shown. These children talk of loss with stone faces, at times with smiles. For children like those in the screenshot above – for girls like Turkieh, who have known violence a quarter of their lives – war is normal. That fact is more troubling than tears.