Mustafa Abu Arab- Hama- Horrya Press:
The 13-year-old Ahmed collects reeds for making mats, ceilings and floors, challenging the difficult living conditions, after being displaced from Al-Karim Village, in Al-Ghab Plain, that has been occupied by Assad Forces in 2015, as his dream of studying again turned into buying simple tools that facilitate his hard work to support his family.
Ahmad told Horrya Press that he travels long distances to reach the valleys spread over Al-Ghab Plain, in Western Countryside of Hama. Using a manual sickle, he cuts the reeds, arranges, and carries them on his back, and then returns to his temporary housing in Qalaat Al-Madiq.
Upon his return, Ahmed uses a plank resting on two barrels, and with the available tools, he weaves the threads together with the reeds, forming consistent shapes of mats, ceilings, and floors, that are sold after being dried.
He sells curtains for the nomadic tents, and coarse mats for restaurants and shops to block the sun. Ahmed hops that someday he would have a modern machine to develop his manufacture, since that his is old and inconvenient.
It is worth mentioning that more than 20% of the Syrian children are threatened with dangerous labor, after the loss of the breadwinner. Moreover, according to UN statistics, child labor spread throughout Syria, especially in the north, and most children were forced to work and drop out of schools.
Translated by: Sura Alloush