During the days of the war in Syria, we lost our safety. We used to sleep to the sound of cannons and wake up to the sound of planes. One day, my mother asked me to go to the pharmacy near our house to buy a fever-reducing medicine for my little brother; while I was on the way back with my little sister, a shell fell in front of us. The people on the street started running to see what happened. We did not stop running until I got home, and we survived. This is one of the most difficult memories that stick in my memory and cannot be forgotten.
I woke up this morning to the happiest day of my life. After all the difficulties I faced, I picked up my papers and went to the Lebanese University to register. Finally I have reached my life’s dream. After fifteen years of studying, I entered the university and my heart leaped with joy. I submitted my papers and took my acceptance receipt and left with a smile on my face. That is my dream came true.
Today is not like other days. It is the day children return to school after having been absent from it for two years. I saw them all around, with their bags on their backs and big smiles on their faces. They are happy because they will be able to learn. They are happy because they will be able to play, play school games again. Unforgettable school days.
Today, I went with my mother to the market and on our way we saw a child sitting on the sidewalk and selling sweets to other children. We approached him and asked him why he was selling sweets, seeing as he was just a small child. “Why don’t you go to school like the rest of the children?” He replied that he had to work to buy medicine for his mother and bread for his family. “I am not the only one who works,” he said “there are many children who work like me…”
During her internship with UN-aligned, Atika Harba was asked to write about her life inside the refugee camp in Lebanon. Her experiences, along with those of other refugees are published in a new series titled Diaries from Refugee Camps.