On a recent Skype call with my son to do his homework — something I do with my children every day since they can’t be with me in Syria because of the violence — a mortar fired from Eastern Ghouta hit about 900 feet from my office.
My son asked, “What was that?” I leaned over to the window and showed him the smoke rising from where the shell hit. As I was showing him the smoke a second mortar hit the same place.
At the same time I also see many more bombs raining down on Eastern Ghouta just six miles away, and every time this happens it breaks my heart, especially for the children trapped there. Innocent children — many of whom have only known violence and war. As a parent, the suffering of these children who can’t go outside, can’t play, who don’t know the calm of safety, is agonizing.
The World Food Programme (WFP) helped some of these children through a recent aid convoy into Eastern Ghouta. But the threat that remains is significant. I want to give you a glimpse into the very real nightmare that they must live through every day.
These children haven’t felt sunlight on their faces in almost a month. The constant shelling makes it too dangerous for them to go outside. The basements they are forced to live in have little to no ventilation and almost no access to the food and medicine they need to survive. No place to play and live as children.