When the fighting began in Aleppo in 2012 between forces of the Syrian regime and the support of foreign militia against the opposition forces, the city was anxious and afraid. It was common at that time to see soldiers and skirmishes… It was an unbalanced war in the streets between the Syrian regime with its military arsenal on one side and the arms of the opposition fighters on the other. This photo was taken during the Aïd vacation, a time when people make time for their favorite hobbies and leisure activities. Maybe they did not choose their game, as they did not choose to live here… Everything seems mandatory here, and children have no choices.
During the fifth year of the war in Syria, no matter where you were you could see the effects of the war: buildings, schools, and streets were entirely destroyed, and gutted cars and bombed-out stores became the landscape. This young girl was familiar with the habitual scene, which she could see daily from her window. The destroyed red car seems similar to a swing set for children during the war. This was a daily routine as she experienced it. Life has a different meaning for children who grow up affected by war. Instead of being in schools, which are also bombarded by the regime forces and their allies, children spend their time playing in the destroyed streets.
In 2015/2016, the residents of Aleppo became used to having funerals in their streets almost daily. The routine funeral procession was followed by children who were nearby. The number of victims was very high at that time because of the intensive bombings. From another viewpoint, the children watched those everyday horrors and were greatly influenced by what they saw and lived through, and these things became banal for them. This photograph shows the children playing the game called ‘Martyr’, which was a way for them to reinterpret the painfulness of their daily lives.