(Crux) Eighteen months ago, a family from Raqqa, a medium-sized city in north-central Syria that had been seized by ISIS and proclaimed its capital, arrived in Aleppo, 100 miles to the west. For pollsters and marketing gurus, they would fall into the category of a “typical” family: Mother, father, and two children – a 9-year-old boy, and an 8-year-old girl.
Yet when you hear their story, you know there’s nothing typical about them.
Before the kids learned what school even was, before they ever swam in a pool or played hoops, they had already witnessed severed heads placed on a pole and left in a public square, to serve as a warning.
During Syria’s six-year war, they lived with constant violence and despair. Their father was taken prisoner by ISIS several times.
When the four made it to Aleppo, the situation wasn’t much better: The war was raging there too, and the city would eventually fall under siege, with the government and fighters of the Islamic fundamentalist group fighting in the streets and missiles “falling on the ground like rain.” [More]