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Al-Derbasiya town, Hassakeh, North-eastern Syria

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©UNICEF/Syria 2016/Masoud Hasen

“It’s blue and I cannot wait to wear it for Eid!” said Fayan, 6, sharing her excitement about the gift she received from her mother for Eid, the Islamic holiday that comes after Ramadan.

“On the first day of Eid, I want to visit all my friends in the neighbourhood. We will visit our teacher together. On the second day, I will go with my parents to visit my grandparents and aunts. I also want to go with my cousins to the theme park to play on the swings and the pirate ship.”

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©UNICEF/Syria 2016/Masoud Hasen

Joan, his siblings and parents were forced to leave their home in Kobani, in northern Syria close to the border with Turkey, fleeing the fighting. “Our house was destroyed,” said 8-year-old Joan, “and I lost my bike and ball.” Far away from their home, the family now lives in Hassakeh city in north eastern Syria, under difficult circumstances.

Joan’s mother gave him a new pair of pants for Eid. But for Joan it is no longer the same.

“I miss my relatives so much. All of them left Syria. Some to Turkey, others to Iraq. When we were all together in Kobani,” recalled Joan “I used to spend the first day of Eid visiting my family. My uncles would give me the ‘Eidye’ (a small amount of money children normally receive from the elderly during Eid)

“My only wish is to celebrate Eid in Kobani next year. I want to see my home again.”

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©UNICEF/Syria 2016/Masoud Hasen

Maram, 7 (left) and Hanin, 5, were forced to leave their town in rural Aleppo three years ago, when their home was destroyed in the fighting.

“I remember my two teddy bears, white and yellow,” said Maram. “My parents bought them for my birthday. I left them at home and I don’t know what happened to them.”

Maram’s favourite colour is yellow. For Eid Al-Fitr, she bought new clothes, jeans and a yellow t-shirt.

“I cannot wait to wear my new clothes when I play with my friends on Eid.”

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©UNICEF/Syria 2016/ Masoud Hasen

Lorine (left) and her cousin Helen, pose with a playdough art they made at a UNICEF-supported centre for children.

“I bought bracelets and earrings for Eid,” said 8-year old Lorine.

“My aunt bought me a beautiful yellow dress for Eid. I will wear it on the first day of Eid. We will got to Qamishli to visit my grandparents. My mother will take me to play on the swings. My father promised to give me 300 Syrian Pounds (SYP), my mother 200 SYP and my grandfather 400 SYP (around $US1.50 in total). I will use some of the money to buy sweets during Eid, and save the rest to buy snacks when school re-opens.”

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©UNICEF/Syria 2016/Masoud Hasen

Sarah, 6 and her brother Mohammad, 5, received new clothes for Eid.

“I cannot wait to visit my relatives, play on the swings with my friends and eat lots of ice-cream and Eid sweets!”

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©UNICEF/Syria 2016/Masoud Hasen

Helen (right) and Joanna, 8, just passed third grade.

“I love Eid more than any other day. I can’t even say how much!” said Helen.

“My mother bought me new clothes and shoes for Eid. Last Eid, my parents did not let me leave the house because they were concerned about security. This year is different. I will visit my grandparents, but not my uncles since they left for Germany. I will call them on WhatsApp”

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©UNICEF/Syria 2016/Masoud Hasen

Mehfan, 8 (right), her younger sister Ahin, 6, and their parents left Kobani in northern Syria three years ago, after war ravaged their hometown.

“We haven’t seen our relatives in a long time. They all travelled to faraway places,” said Mehfan.

“We made this painting with play dough. It’s the Eid sweets!”

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©UNICEF/Syria 2016/Masoud Hasen

“I have a lot of friends and I want to visit all of them on the first day of Eid. We will play at the park! My father bought me new clothes. I will wear them when we visit my relatives.”

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©UNICEF/Syria 2016/Masoud Hasen

“I love Eid because I get to see my relatives and friends and wear new clothes!” said 13 year-old Seedra.

“Eid used to be much nicer. We were surrounded by uncles, aunts and cousins. Now most of them have left the country. I miss my best friend, Aven, the most. We shared the same desk for six years. We always stayed together. But two years ago Aven left for Iraq with her parents. ”

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©UNICEF/Syria 2016/Masoud Hasen

Nairuz, 14 (right) fled Kobani with her parents and siblings almost three years ago, escaping the fighting. She missed one year of school as a result.

“What I like the most about Eid is visiting friends and preparing Eid sweets at home,” she said.

“Eid in Kobani was amazing. We would visit friends, go to the market and spend the day at the theme park or the garden. Kobani is now destroyed. Everything is destroyed by the war.”

Nairuz’s family could not afford to buy her new clothes for her this Eid. Gut she is not upset. She has already made plans to visit her new friends and teachers.

“The only thing I wish I brought with me from Kobani is my small turtle. I used to take care of her, but now I don’t know if she died or if she ran away from the noise of the war.”

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©UNICEF/Syria 2016/Masoud Hasen

“Eid this year is special for me because my friends and I are having a party. I will participate in musical activities,” said 13-year-old Sylva.

“I am enjoying the preparations for the party. I never had an Eid party before. Usually I visit all the houses in the neighbourhood to collect sweets, then visit my grandparents and uncles. My mother prepares chicken with rice and some sweets. She also takes us to the market to pick our new clothes.”

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©UNICEF/Syria 2016/Masoud Hasen

“This Eid, I am spending it with my friends. My cousins all left for Europe. Only my grandparents and one uncle are left here,” said 13-year-old Reema.

“I used to love playing on the swings with my cousins.”

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