By Tomoya Sonoda
Aleppo, 11 May 2014 – Aleppo has been wrecked by intense conflict. Shells and bombs continue to land and explode at random while gunshots crack day and night. This has become the sad everyday reality for Salma* and her family along with residents of Aleppo.
A year ago, a shell landed in Salma’s neighbourhood while she was drying clothes on her balcony. As the shell exploded, a piece of shrapnel hit Salma in the face. She now has a life-long scar, a testimony to the severity of the violence affecting millions of children across the country.
The fighting forced Salma and her family to leave their homes in eastern Aleppo. As a result, Salma missed out on one year of schooling.
Despite everything, Salma is still upbeat, striving to maintain her motivation to learn: “Life goes on even if we live in rubble, this is my home and I have nowhere else to go” she says. “Writing, reading and getting knowledge is fun. Education gives me a sense of hope in my life.”
With support from the Nama Society, a local NGO and a UNICEF partner, Salma is busy preparing herself for the upcoming placement exam to receive a grade nine certificate.
Salma says her dream is to become a journalist one day because she says “Life is tough and unfair. I hope to find out the truth and share it with people of the world,”
*Name changed for this story