DERAA, Syria- In March 2011, 15 school children were arrested in the city of Deraa, Syria for writing anti-government graffiti. Locals engaged in peaceful protests following this incident, seeking release of the children from prison and greater freedom of speech and democracy throughout the country. In response, the Syrian government opened fire upon them, killed four protesters, and also targeted mourners at the protesters’ funerals.
These events were the start of a series of violent clashes between the people of Syria and the Syrian government of President Bashar al-Assad, and a devastating civil war that has resulted in more than 100,000 deaths.
According to a United Nations, an estimated 6,000 Syrians flee their country every day. In September 2013, photographers Robert Fogarty and Benjamin Reece visited Syrian refugee camp Za’atari in Jordan to document the stories of Syrian refugees and share their heartbreaking messages.
1. “I want the life I had back.”
2. “I am losing my childhood.”
7. “My name is Muhammad and I am not a terrorist.”
8. “At my family’s home, the taste of water is different.”
9. “My Syria… When will we return?”
11. “I want to go back but it is hard.” “Safety for Syria.” “I miss my friends… my family.”
12. “Hand in hand, we build the world.”
13. “I am sick of Za’atari and I miss Syria.”
– Farihah Hossain
Sources: BBC, BuzzFeed
Photos: Dear World