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Give Us Our Childhood: Story #10 from #200students200stories

It was my second or third time visiting the camp, and I got to the Nour Center and sat upstairs with the older kids. They were sitting down and colouring paper plates, drawing faces and flags, writing names. They wanted to play a game. The way the game works is that someone starts singing a part of a song, and when they stop, the last letter from the last word they sang has to be the first letter sang by the next person in turn.


It was really fun, people laughing, singing along, shouting suggestions to each other, cracking jokes. It was beautiful. And then it came to Alaa’s turn. Her voice filled the room, the room fell quiet. "عطونا الطفولة" (Give us our childhood) was the song she sang.


A song about being deprived of childhood and innocence, a theme each one of them relates to being refugees and having fled from war in their home. Being deprived of festive holidays, of peace of mind about the whereabouts of their family, of going to proper schools, of having the ability to shape their own future instead of just getting what’s available. And she sang like a bell.


And when she finished, they just moved on to the next letter… “حرف الج.” They may be facing harsh circumstances, but their spirit can’t be repressed.

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Nour International 

Nour International is a global network of students and educators supporting the Nour Center, a community school for Syrian and Palestinian youth in the Burj Al Barajneh refugee camp in Beirut, Lebanon.

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