We hear so much about how special mom’s love is, which is absolutely true—don’t get me wrong—that we might forget there is a dad standing right next to us. Don’t be fooled by that seemingly short title—dads carry so much weight on their shoulders that they are supermen in disguise. This Syrian dad, Abdullah Mohammad, just came up with an idea of how to save his 4-year-old daughter from the nightmare of war.
As bombs explode all over Aleppo, Mohammad and his little Selva play a game. There are no toys involved. Every time they hear a bomb exploding nearby, they laugh as hard as they can. The brief moment of happiness fills up the room and the brutal reality of war stays behind the door. When reality is too gruesome to face, dad’s love steps in to silence the bombs.
See the heartbreaking video of this dad and his daughter’s game below. Scroll down to see what Ali Mustafa, a long-time Syrian conflict reporter, told Bored Panda about the horrific situation in the area.
Every time the bomb explodes, they laugh so 4-year-old doesn’t get scared
Image credits: Ali_Mustafa
This recording of the game showed the brutal reality of war and touched so many hearts
what a sad world,
To distract 4-year old Selva, her father Abdullah has made up a game.
Each time a bomb drops in Idlib #Syria, they laugh, so she doesn’t get scared.
— Ali Mustafa (@Ali_Mustafa) February 17, 2020
‘Beyond tragic,’ states this Twitter user after being moved by the video
Beyond tragic. A Syrian father and a daughter traumatized by war. Helping her overcome her fear, he asks her to Laugh each time a fighter jet or rocket flies over the area. Look at the innocence but at the same think about what may happen next. #Syria#Idlib pic.twitter.com/zjzlnNAP9n
— Hashem Ahelbarra هاشم أهل برا (@hashemahel) February 18, 2020
Image credits: Ali_Mustafa
The true scope of the Syrian crisis, which has been going for almost ten years, is reflected well in dad’s answer to why he came up with such a game. Mohammad explained: “I decided to teach Salwa this game to prevent her psychological state from collapsing. So as to not be affected by diseases relating to fear. She is a child who does not understand war.” One can hardly imagine what it is like to raise your child in such horrifying conditions.
Social media users have noticed that Mohammad and Salwa’s game resembles a scene from the Oscar-winning movie Life Is Beautiful. Roberto Benigni’s movie tells a story about a father and son trying to survive in a Nazi concentration camp during WWII. Just like Mohammad, the dad convinces his son that the concentration camp is just a game.
Sadly, the crisis of Syria is more real than ever. Countless Syrians have become fatalities. Many are severely injured every day, while others are running for shelter after their homes were blown up. According to the UNICEF Executive Director Henrietta Fore, “it’s the country’s children who have suffered the most and have the most to lose.”
The Syrian conflict reporter says that local children are the most traumatized of those affected by any conflict
Bored Panda contacted Ali Mustafa, a reporter of the Syrian conflict, whose heartbreaking tweet about the Syrian family’s game went viral. “The first I heard of Abdullah and Salwa’s story was when a Syrian friend passed along a video circulating on WhatsApp of the father playing a game with his daughter.”
It turns out, Mustafa has been reporting from Idlib for 8 years. “Having covered the Syrian conflict since 2012 and having reported from Idlib I can tell you, there is no escape for the people stuck there. These are internally displaced Syrians who have already fled three or four times. The space is shrinking for the 4 million IDPs in Idlib as the regime takes over more territory.”
The most heartbreaking part comes down to the fact that children suffer the most. Mustafa explains “Syria’s children are probably the most traumatized of any conflict. They’ve suffered displacement, indiscriminate bombings, and have witnessed killings on a scale few could imagine.”
The Syrian crisis is failing children who become war victims before having a chance to grow up
Image credits: SCUSBoardChair
The current situation in the area is beyond words
Image credits: LinahAlsaafin
Watch these video reports to find out about the world’s humanitarian horror story
The conflict in Syria has been the source of much psychological trauma for children. pic.twitter.com/I1tMTNAbjE
— AJ+ (@ajplus) March 12, 2017
“The trajectory we’re on is of the world’s biggest humanitarian horror story of the 21st century.”@UNReliefChief tells @BeckyCNN the world is going to regret turning a ‘blind eye’ to the humanitarian crisis unfolding *right now* in #Idlib. pic.twitter.com/Qo3G5j9A6W
— Connect the World (@CNNConnect) February 17, 2020
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