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Report from Libya: Misrata's children traumatized by war

07-16-2011 08:32 BJT

Much of the war in Libya has been fought in urban centers, trapping tens of thousands of families within the fighting zones. CCTV's Jack Barton takes a look at life of Misrata's children, and the steps being taken to help them deal psychologically.

The victims of rockets fired by Colonel Gaddafi’s forces lie in a Misrata hospital.

Among them a young girl.

Many of this conflict’s victims are children.

Their experiences are on display here at children’s art exhibition in the city centre.

The children smile and sing, but for an insight into their hearts a picture paints a thousand words.

Fatima’s father was killed during the siege of Misrata.

Terrified, her surviving family members huddled together as the their city was torn apart.

Fatima Sadawi, Misrata resident, said, “We stayed in the room so they couldn’t get in and we prayed that they’d go away”.

This is one of ten mobile exhibitions in the Misrata area where children are encouraged to share their experiences and to focus on a brighter future.

The organizers say the war has taken a terrible toll on the young.

Mansoor Ibrahim Hassan, Manager, Lamasat Media Center, said, “The kids don’t play on games or playstation or on the street. Now they play war and guns because they see the war in the street, house, everywhere in Misrata”.

And these are streets of Misrata.

The city’s children have seen their neighbourhoods turned to rubble.

They play beside the wreckage of tanks that only a few months ago brought so much terror.

Even the tanks have become playthings.

But a memorial in the city centre bears testament to the terrible price this city has paid.

These are photos of children killed during and after the siege.

A few primary schools have already begun to reopen part –time and there are many activities to help these children.

Most have lost family and friends.

People here know the healing process has only just begun.

Selma Bileid, Misrata Physical Therapist Assoc., said, “We want to rid these children of their mental trauma and to express what they’ve seen to get them out of their bad psychological state… so we have events like this. And the festivity organizers and presenters. Any program that can help these children we will do it”.

Jack Barton said, “The forces of colonel Gaddafi have now been pushed more than forty kilometers from Misrata but his rockets rain down on this city every day. For the children here the nightmare continues and even when or if peace comes the trauma of what has happened here will last for many years to come.”

Editor:Du Xiaodan |Source: CNTV.CN

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