The family are on the brink of collapse. Mahmoud’s older brother’s mental health has deteriorated over the years, his mum Fayza* tells us. “My eldest son, who is now 20 years old, has a mental disability. It got worse with the war. Before the war, he used to go to school and he was okay. But then the shelling and airstrikes started hitting the airport and we lived nearby.”
No one has escaped unscathed, not even Fayza. “I am still afraid of planes and always pray for God to protect us whenever I see one. I try to tell my kids that the plane does not hurt. I try to give them some hope. My children are traumatised when they hear that sound, because we’ve struggled a lot. We’ve seen shelling and airstrikes with our own eyes.”
A first chance at school
Mahmoud has never forgotten his father’s love of learning and eventually got his chance to start his schooling. “I heard about Save the Children’s school and told my mother that I wanted to enroll in it, so I did and they put me in a class nearby. I was very happy. I want to get educated and learn the alphabet.”
Thanks to supporters of the Syrian crisis appeal, he now attends a Temporary Learning Space in the camp, where he can start his education and play with other children. When he joined, a special bathroom and a ramp were built, so he wouldn’t struggle to get around. It’s had a massive impact on his mood, Fayza reports.
“After I enrolled Mahmoud into school, he changed a bit. Before starting school, he was very depressed and used to cry all the time. But after he started engaging with children at school, he changed and became happy. When he comes back home, he tells me about everything that happened to him at school. Now he is very happy, he laughs, attends school, studies, does his homework, likes his teachers and plays with other children. He loves his peers and teachers and they love him too.”
Mahmoud’s* dream of becoming a doctor starts here
Mahmoud dreams of one day becoming a doctor, to treat injured boys and girls, just like himself. “I’m honestly very happy. This school is the best. I want to become a doctor. I want to work. I want the war to stop.”