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Sat May 24, 2014, 12:29 PM

Neil Gaiman's Journal: Why I am Smiling In This Picture [View all]



One of the reasons I'm smiling so widely in this picture is I'd just been talking to the people in Azraq camp who run the child friendly space it was taken in. They were mostly from UNICEF.

They had explained that when the kids arrived in the camp, only the previous week, they didn't talk or make noise. They were subdued. When they drew pictures, the pictures were of explosions, of severed body parts, of weapons and dead people.

The camp had only been open two weeks. The kids I saw and spoke to were kids – noisy, happy, curious, hilarious, and they showed us their drawings, of butterflies and children and mountains and animals and hearts.

That's what I'm smiling about. That room full of noisy kids was the best place in the world.

I spoke to some of these children, who told me about their lives in Syria during the troubles, about their escape (“there were rocks in the desert, and we had to turn on the headlights to see, but when they turned on the headlights of the car people would shoot at us, and my parents were frightened, but I wasn't...”). For some of them it had been three years since they last went to school.


http://journal.neilgaiman.com

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Reply Neil Gaiman's Journal: Why I am Smiling In This Picture [View all]
ismnotwasm May 2014 OP
lostincalifornia May 2014 #1
Stryst May 2014 #2
McCamy Taylor May 2014 #3
littlemissmartypants May 2014 #4