Syrian migrant girl celebrates Turkey’s Children’s Day with songs

Eye Hasan, 10-year-old Syrian child, wishes for world without war as she marks day with music and singing

2021-04-22 10:14:49


A Syrian girl, among over 1.74 million migrant children living in Turkey, celebrates Turkey's National Sovereignty and Children's Day on April 23, with songs and playing guitar.

On the occasion of the National Sovereignty and Children's Day, 10-year-old Eye Hasan played guitar and sang in the choir wishing for a world where there is no war.

With her dreams and wishes for humanity, Hasan is among 1.74 million migrant children, mostly Syrian, living in Turkey, according to the UN International Children's Emergency Fund (UNICEF) data.

"I want the coronavirus pandemic to end, and I hope we, the children, will now be able to go to school and play easily," said Hasan. "Also, I would love to have a world without war."

She enjoys singing songs in Arabic and Turkish and playing the guitar. But her dream is to become a doctor.

"If my father or our neighbors get sick, I want to heal them," she said.

When she was two years old, her family fled from Syria and arrived in Turkey, where her brothers went to school.

She learned to play the guitar in workshops at the Gaziantep Kalyon Al Farah Child and Family Support Center of the Association for Solidarity with Asylum Seekers and Migrants (ASAM), which is working in partnership with the UNICEF.

"I like to sing Turkish songs more. I love my choir friends very much. We get training and play games with them," she said, expressing her happiness to attend the center's workshops.

'Even stones crying in Syria because of war'

Remembering the difficult times they have been through, father Hasan said: "More bombs started to explode every day. We had no place to go."

"Life is tough where there is war. Even stones are crying in Syria because of the war."

He noted that his children Eye and Muhammed's participation in activities and courses in Al Farah center for almost two years helped them improve their Turkish language skills and get socialized.

'Being together accelerates social harmony'

Hasan Can Pala, ASAM regional coordinator for southeast, said that the classes are currently continuing online due to the pandemic and the children from Syria, Iraq, Afghanistan and Turkey are participating in choir and instrument workshops.

"Being together accelerates the social harmony with the benefits of music and makes it permanent by strengthening it," he added.

ASAM was established in 1995 in Ankara as an independent, impartial and non-profit association to assist migrants living in Turkey.

It has provided social, legal, and psychosocial support for refugees and asylum-seekers, organizing numerous courses and activities to integrate them into social life.

More than 600,000 migrants, more than half of whom are children, have benefited from six Al Farah child and family support centers in Istanbul, Ankara, Adana, Izmir, and two centers in Gaziantep.