“This is the most beautiful school I’ve ever seen.
“Now I have lot of friends that I love to be and play with.”
Hamza is in 6th grade and very excited to go to school. “This is the most beautiful school I’ve ever seen. I love everything – the classrooms, the windows, the playground, the board and everything”, says.
The UNHCR, the UN Refugee Agency, and Première Urgence Internationale (PUI) rehabilitated the school premises – one of the oldest in Aleppo –, returning it to the local community in 2019.
A major step, since this is one of the two elementary schools in Al Jalloum, a neighborhood in old Aleppo where 2,000 families lived before the crisis. This facility, founded in 1950, used to host 245 boys from secondary level at that time. Now, a place of education for boys and girls.
One in three schools can no longer be used because they were destroyed, damaged, used for other purposes or for hosting displaced families.
“When we returned here to our house, I couldn’t recognize it because it was all destroyed. All of the home’s windows and doors were broken”, recalls Hamza.
Aleppo is among the worst-suffering cities in Syria after the years-long battle that severely changed the daily lives of its residents.
Amid the clashes, its residents sought safety in other neighborhoods in Aleppo or other governorates, while some crossed the borders to neighboring countries. The school closed its doors then.
In 2017, people began to slowly return to this area. “Now I’m really happy because I’m back to my city and my house. My dream is to be a doctor and help people.”