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In War-Torn Northern Syria, Children 'Only Paint In Red'

Posted: January 4, 2013

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From 'Morning Edition': Deborah Amos on the children of Northern Syria

Fighting has raged in Syria since March 2011. The U.N. estimates that more than 60,000 people have died. The effect on children is heart-breaking. Some can't draw pictures of people without showing blood coming out of them.

Children often show signs of trauma from their experiences inside Syria. A U.N. team interviewing Syrian children in a refugee camp found that most lost a loved one in the fighting, and almost half have post-traumatic stress disorder.

Children often show signs of trauma from their experiences inside Syria. A U.N. team interviewing Syrian children in a refugee camp found that most lost a loved one in the fighting, and almost half have post-traumatic stress disorder.

Shocking statistics, such as the U.N.'s estimate that more than 60,000 people have died in Syria since anti-regime protests and fighting began in March 2011, tell only part of the story.

On Morning Edition, NPR's Deborah Amos told host Steve Inskeep about what she's seen during reporting trips in and around that war-torn nation. This part of her account stood out to us:

"I visited some schools along the border" of Northern Syria, she said. "These are refugee kids. Many of these schools are run by Syrian parents, Syrian teachers who are volunteering. Where you see the damage of this kind of violence is in the reaction of the children.

"One teacher told me that the kids only paint in red. And it's almost impossible for them to draw human beings without blood coming out of them."

Many of the children, Deb also reported, talk of wanting to kill Syrian President Bashar Assad.

You can see more of her reporting about the effect of the war on Syria's children in this story from December: "Syria's War Leaves Its Scars On The Children."

Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

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