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Syria: Kids in Deir ez-Zor return to school after IS siege is lifted

Children of Deir ez-Zor started the school year on Wednesday, after the Syrian Arab Army (SAA) broke the self-proclaimed Islamic State (IS, formerly ISIS/ISIL) siege of the city.

Children started their classes right on schedule with many are still getting used to a new normal.

SOT, Manal Khaldi AlSh’hada, teacher (Arabic): “I’m Manal Khaldi Al Sh’hada, a teacher in Adel Alwan school. Good morning Syria, good morning Arabs, good morning Deir ez-Zor. Thank God, the educational process started last year from the beginning, and thank God, we started despite the difficult circumstances of mortars and hunger. Thank God. And this year, September 5th will be a historical date: the date of the siege was lifted from Deir ez-Zor. Thank God, despite the difficult circumstances. We suffered. This year, under the leadership of President Bashar Al Assad, the army and armed forces broke the siege which lasted a thousand days. For a thousand days Deir ez-Zor was counting on the whole world. The siege is broken, thank God, we are happy, excited and jovial. We wish things would improve even more.”

SOT, pupil (Arabic): “We went to school in the past year despite the siege and shells falling. Despite all that we were in school studying as much as we could until we reached the stage we are in. And siege. A tribute to Mr President Bashar Al Assad who helped us with food, we were besieged for three years, and yet we went to school, mortars were falling and people were injured. Now we came to school and we have lessons.”

SOT, pupil (Arabic): “We need everything – clothes, shoes, and full stationery to come to school, so [we can] write, read and get back to normal again.”

SOT, pupil (Arabic): “Mortar shells were falling on us every day, one after another. Many were injured. We were besieged and remained in that situation until God relieved us. We thank Mr. President for his help, may God bless him.”

SOT, pupil (Arabic): “Thanks to the army, God, and Mr President Bashar Al Assad, we are back to school and doing our best hopefully till the end. During the last year we lived in poverty, hunger, and cold. And, thank God, we shall continue to study. Thanks to the army.”

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