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Going back to school has become impossible

By February 21, 2020 Stories From Idlib
Maryam Shayrot – Idlib Syria

I have never planned to be a teacher in my whole life. Perhaps my destiny chose me to be a one. When I started working as a teacher, everything changed.  Teaching children became one of the most beautiful things I have in my life.

Despite the lack of resources in the past few years, we were able to relatively improve enhance the educational process. I was working effortlessly to get the children who dropped out of schools back to resume their education.

It wasn’t easy in our community to be a working woman who is active outside the house, but with the support and encouragement of my family, I was able overcome these obstacles, especially that they knew the contribution of my work to the community and the positive outcome it has.

With the beginning of the recent military campaign, all our work stopped and we could not run the school because educational facilities were being deliberately targeted. We were afraid that children’s safety will be jeopardized therefore all school halted their activities. I thought it will be a matter of one or two days before we open schools again, but unfortunately the attacks carried on and we ended up displaced with thousands of civilians from our city.

Before the forced displacement, I experienced the most harrowing difficult day of my life, it was the darkest and bloodiest night I have ever seen, the bombardment did not stop for a second. Darkness was surrounding me before an explosion sparked a great light that turned the night to lightness from the intensity of bombing. It felt like a rainfall of bombs that day. In a matter of hours that day, the city was empty. Residents ran away from the city holding nothing but the clothing they were wearing. Due to the bombardment we only sought to escape alive with our children and families.

The displacement day was very hard. As much bombing and explosions filled the atmosphere, more coldness, fear and anguish surrounded us. There is nothing harder than leaving the city you were born and lived the whole of your life.

Some people fled because they feared bombing and death…

Some fled after the news flaw of the Syrian-Russian’s regime militant advancement…

Some residents preferred to stay and die in their homes rather than leaving to nowhere…

After the displacement, the situation severely got worsen. Every six families had to stay in one house. Despite this circumstance, I felt pretty lucky because other families could not find a tent and had to shelter at schools, mosques and sometimes streets and roadsides or farmlands!!!  I wonder, where is the United Nation? Why they exist if they do not have the capacity to support displaced people with warm safe homes.

After displacement, a lot of children got in touch with me asking me, “When can we go back to school Miss? We missed you!”

I do not know if they really missed me, but I am sure they are willing to go back to school with big motivation to see their friends and carry on their education. Sadly, our return to our home became very hard, as the regime captured the city, and if we ever go back, it is very likely that death will be waiting us.

Sometimes, when we were in Marat Al Noman the bombing took place during the school hours, some Students were quite frightened while others’ attitude was more like carelessness, saying that the warplanes will leave soon, trying in that sense to support their scared classmates.

I miss my students…

It is heart-wrenching to see how we could not carry on our work in schools. I have been feeling despair, pain and inability that we had to leave our homes and deprive the children from education, which by its continuum we can change the whole world towards the better…

Knowledge is our weapon in the future! Even this simple weapon they had stolen from us…

Maryam Sharyout. Idlib