Suffer the children

A boy who hasn’t opened his mouth in three years, and other photos of the real cost of Syria’s war

August 12, 2014
August 12, 2014

The conflict in Syria has scattered refugees literally to the four winds. Some 2.8 million Syrians have fled to Lebanon (to the west), Iraq (east), Jordan (south), and Turkey (north) to escape the fighting, on top of 6.5 million people who have left their homes but stayed within Syria. Many of the refugees, and the wounded, are children.

Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF, a.k.a. Doctors Without Borders) treats people at refugee camps and makeshift clinics both inside Syria and in the neighboring countries. Late last year it sent four photographers to document a single day in the lives of the refugees, and the doctors and nurses who care for them, many of whom are refugees themselves. We’ve excerpted some of the often heartbreaking photographs here; many more, as well as videos and other materials, can be found at MSF’s site, Reach of War.

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Girl in wheelchair in surgical ward
Rukaya, 14, lost both legs in a bombing that also killed her mother, is wheeled in for her seventh surgery at Ramtha.(Ton Koene for MSF)
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A young man who lost a leg after being shot. “When I start walking on my feet, I’ll go back to Syria,” he says. “Where else would I be?”(Ton Koene for MSF)
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A Syrian girl who lost a leg when a shell landed nearby, at Ramtha hospital in Jordan.
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Maria, 8, from Sana,was injured when she was 3 months old. Her cradle caught on fire.(Kate Brooks/Redux for MSF)
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Dr Ben Gupta plays chess with Malik, 14, who lost a leg when a bomb fell on a wedding party.(Ton Koene for MSF)
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Surgeon and Iraqi boy with jaw injury
Dr Ashraf al-Bustani tends to an Iraqi boy who has been unable to open his mouth for three years, after falling from a roof during a bombing and destroying his jaw.(Kate Brooks/Redux for MSF)
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People waiting at Domiz refugee camp
The waiting area at Domiz camp in Iraqi Kurdistan, where some 60,000 refugees from Syria are being housed in tents.(Yuri Kozyrev/Noor for MSF)
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Children at Domiz camp make their own entertainment.(Yuri Kozyrev/Noor for MSF)
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An abandoned prison near Majdal Anjar, in Lebanon, has become a home for Syrian refugees like this boy.(Moises Saman/Magnum for MSF)

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