Albashayer School For Syrian Refugees

Collection with 21 media items created by U.S. Editor

23 Jan 2013 10:00

School for Refugees

The majority of the more than 150,000 Syrians who have fled to Turkey are children. Although many are sheltering in Turkey's state run refugee camps, a countless number are living under the radar, in the border cities like Antakya. For those Syrian children, many of whom have been traumatized by their experiences of the war, Turkey does not and cannot provide public education.

“Some children have been out of school for almost one or two years," according to Ted Chaiban, UNICEF’s head of emergency operations.

The privately-funded Albashayer School in Antakya was founded 18 month ago to address the needs of Antakya's Syrian children.

In the beginning, the school provided education in Arabic for just 16 Syrian children. In three months, the number had quadrupled, according to the school principal, Sally Albunni, herself a refugee from Hama. Now over 500 students flood through the front gates every morning, and numbers are increasing.
"Every day we have new students," says Albunni. The school just opened a new branch, so now it occupies two full apartment buildings. Total number of students served is currently over 800. Students arrive in two shifts, in order to accommodate as many as possible. Others are on a waiting list. In addition to learning math, science, arabic, Turkish and art, a school psychologist helps them work through difficult emotions. Needy children receive new clothes that have been donated.

According to UNICEF, half of the 4 million affected Syrians are children living in the worst conditions and suffering from the psycho-social effects of the violence they witness on a daily basis.

At the Albashayer School, signs of trauma are everywhere, from the playground, where children participate in violent play, to the art room, where student's drawings depict tanks, blood, soldiers and guns.

But after a few weeks, Albunni says she sees improvement. The children are very resilient, and happy to be in school.

"We want to remove everything about the war," says the principal.

"We want to see them happy and playing normally."

-Jodi Hilton

Syrian Refugees Refugee Chil... School For R... Albashayer S... Violence Trauma Children Drawings War Conflict Photo Collec... Mena Politics Human Interest

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School for Syrian Refugees in Turkey ...
Antakya, Turkey
By Jodi Hilton
15 Dec 2012

Maysam Selmo, 8, during her second day at Albashayer School for Syrian Refugee Children. She and her extended family fled their village in Idlib province of Syria. Now they live in a crowded apartment in the old city of Antakya. The school is overcrowded with 500 students and new students constantly arriving. Last week alone 115 new students enrolled.

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School for Syrian Refugees in Turkey ...
Antakya, Turkey
By Jodi Hilton
14 Dec 2012

Albashayer School for Syrian Refugee Children principal Sally Albunni, center, enrolls new student Nureddin, 11, who arrived with his mother to Antakya after his father was killed 15 days ago in Syria.

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School for Syrian Refugees in Turkey ...
Antakya, Turkey
By Jodi Hilton
14 Dec 2012

Rafah Al Tinawie sets up a DVD player to show a video-story to her students. Al Tinawie teaches human resources at the Albashayer School for Syrian Refugee Children, where she tries to help them overcome the trauma many have experienced.

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School for Syrian Refugees in Turkey ...
Antakya, Turkey
By Jodi Hilton
14 Dec 2012

Nureddin, 11, left, who arrived with his mother to Antakya after his father was killed 15 days ago in Syria, registers for the Albashayer School for Syrian Refugee Children, which is free for Syrian children living in Turkey.

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School for Syrian Refugees in Turkey ...
Antakya, Turkey
By Jodi Hilton
14 Dec 2012

During class, first-grade students draw tanks and free Syria flags in class at the Albashayer School for Syrian Refugee Children. They are wearing Turkish school uniforms that were received as a donation.

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School for Syrian Refugees in Turkey ...
Antakya, Turkey
By Jodi Hilton
14 Dec 2012

A first grade student at the Albashayer School for Syrian Refugee Children shows her drawing which includes the free Syria flag, chains, a yellow sun and big green heart.

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School for Syrian Refugees in Turkey ...
Antakya, Turkey
By Jodi Hilton
14 Dec 2012

At the Albashayer School for Syrian Refugee's upper school, Emine Kusa leads a Turkish class to eighth grade students. The school opened nearly two years ago when refugees began arriving in Turkey. The school recently opened a second building to accommodate a rapidly expanding student population.

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School for Syrian Refugees in Turkey ...
Antakya, Turkey
By Jodi Hilton
14 Dec 2012

Seventh grade students study at the Albashayer School for Syrian Refugee Children's upper school. Overcrowding has forced administrators to open a second building to accommodate new arrivals.

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School for Syrian Refugees in Turkey ...
Antakya, Turkey
By Jodi Hilton
14 Dec 2012

Children, including students at the Albashayer School for Syrian Refugee Children, often show signs of trauma after what they've experienced in Syria. After not attending for many months, some more than a year, many are happy just to be back in school.

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School for Syrian Refugees in Turkey ...
Antakya, Turkey
By Jodi Hilton
14 Dec 2012

Albashayer School for Syrian Refugee Children's lower school is housed in a former apartment building on the outskirts of Antakya, near the border with Syria. Children attend in two shifts, morning and afternoon.

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School for Syrian Refugees in Turkey ...
Antakya, Turkey
By Jodi Hilton
14 Dec 2012

During recess, at Albashayer School for Syrian Refugee Children, some children climbed the school walls while others played games and roughhoused.

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School for Syrian Refugees in Turkey ...
Antakya, Turkey
By Jodi Hilton
14 Dec 2012

Teachers at Albashayer School for Syrian Refugee Children are mostly devout. Between classes teachers Rafah Al Tinawie and Rola Kadi take a break to pray.

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School for Syrian Refugees in Turkey ...
Antakya, Turkey
By Jodi Hilton
14 Dec 2012

Teacher Rafah Al Tinawie counsels a student outside class at the Albashayer School for Syrian Refugee Children. Al Tinawie says many children show signs of trauma and she sometimes meets with parents to understand what problems the children are facing.

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School for Syrian Refugees in Turkey ...
Antakya, turkey
By Jodi Hilton
14 Dec 2012

Some Syrian children play at wrestling and fighting during recess while others play games, eat snacks and socialize at Albashayer School for Syrian Refugee Children. Violent play is common with traumatized children, especially those who have experienced violence.

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School for Syrian Refugees in Turkey ...
Antakya, Turkey
By Jodi Hilton
14 Dec 2012

Some Syrian children play at wrestling and fighting during recess while others play games, eat snacks and socialize at Albashayer School for Syrian Refugee Children. Violent play is common with traumatized children, especially those who have experienced violence.

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School for Syrian Refugees in Turkey ...
Antakya, Turkey
By Jodi Hilton
14 Dec 2012

Cousins Suleyman Selmo, 9, and Kawthar Selmo, 10, receive donated clothes from the Albashayer School for Syrian Refugee Children on their second day at school. Many children and families are in need of basic supplies including food and clothing.

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School for Syrian Refugees in Turkey ...
Antakya, Turkey
By Jodi Hilton
14 Dec 2012

Rola Kadi, a Syrian American from Michigan, has been volunteering as an art teacher at the Albashayer School for Syrian Refugee Children.

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School for Syrian Refugees in Turkey ...
Antakya, Turkey
By Jodi Hilton
14 Dec 2012

Children during recess at the Albashayer School for Syrian Refugee Children, where many seem enthusiastic about being back in school.

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School for Syrian Refugees in Turkey ...
Antakya, Turkey
By Jodi Hilton
14 Dec 2012

Children wait for minibuses to take them home from the Albashayer School for Syrian Refugee Children. School is free for Syrian children living in Turkey.

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School for Syrian Refugees in Turkey ...
Antakya, Turkey
By Jodi Hilton
14 Dec 2012

Children inside a minivan on their way home from Albashayer School for Syrian Refugee Children.

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School for Syrian Refugees in Turkey ...
Antakya, Turkey
By Jodi Hilton
14 Dec 2012

A minibus drops children to the homes after school. Syrian refugee families a spread throughout Antakya, a small city close to the Syrian border, despite a new law prohibited them from residing there.