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Fares, the flower of Beirut who died in Syria

The death of Fares highlights the desperate plight of Syria's children (Hussein Baydoun/AAAJ)

Date of publication: 13 July, 2015

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Blog: Fares al-Khodour, a Syrian child who sold flowers in Beirut for years, was allegedly killed in a US drone strike after returning to his hometown in Syria.
With a timid smile, Fares made many friends in Hamra Street. Everyday, Fares came with fresh red roses to sell to Beirut's lovers; not knowing that he himself was dearly loved.

As the violent conflict escalated in Syria, Fares and his brother left their family home in Hasakeh and moved to neighbouring Lebanon.

Fares and his brother endured harsh living conditions, but his kindness was irresistible. Even shops that usually chased Syrian street sellers away allowed Fares to mingle with their customers. 

The Syrian child shared the daily routines of shop workers and customers. But, like most Syrian immigrants in Lebanon, Fares had his fair share of racism and harassment.

It was all endured, knowing that his hometown was even more threatening. Indeed it was. While visiting his family in Syria, a US airstrike killed the 10-year-old on Thursday.

Since then, hundreds of people, mainly Hamra residents, have mourned Fares on social media, sharing his photos.



 




In memory of Fares

Once asked about what he wants be when he grows up, Fares answered: "I want to be a lawyer to defend kids who work and don't go to school."

But Fares died early, with no one to defend his right to life and education. More importantly, Fares, the lawyer, won't be able to bring justice to Syria's children and hold those to account who exploit or kill.

The death of Fares highlights the tragic conditions of Syria's children, and the disappointing lack of international action to safeguard the most vulnerable.

 

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