ONTD Political

Clown who brought cheer to Aleppo's traumatised children killed

10:39 pm - 12/01/2016

A social worker who often dressed up as a clown to cheer up Aleppo's traumatised children has been killed in a missile strike in the besieged Syrian city.

Anas al-Basha, 24, was a centre director at Space for Hope, one of many unheralded local initiatives operating against the odds to provide support services to Syria's war-torn opposition areas.

He was killed in a presumed Russian or Syrian government missile strike on the Mashhad area in the embattled eastern side of the city.

In a now largely bombed-out enclave, Space for Hope supports 12 schools and four psycho-social support centres in eastern Aleppo, providing counselling and financial support for 365 children who have lost one or both parents in the fighting.

Many of the staff of 34 learned social work on the job as the country's five-year civil war unfolded.

Mr al-Basha's supervisor, Samar Hijazi, said she will remember him as a friend who loved to work with children.

She said: "He would act out skits for the children to break the walls between them."

His parents left the city before the government sealed its siege of the rebel-held eastern districts last summer - but he chose to stay on, and had his salary sent to their new residence in the countryside.

The men and woman who shouldered the burden of looking after Aleppo's children have been left exhausted by the ongoing conflict.

Ms Hijazi said: "All of us in this field (of childcare) are exhausted, and we have to find strength to provide psychological support and continue with our work."

Space for Hope has suspended its operations in Aleppo for the time being. A renewed government assault on the city's east has brought shelling and bombardment at an unprecedented rate, displacing tens of thousands of civilians in the span of four days and killing dozens of them every day.

Mr al-Basha is survived by his wife, who remains trapped in Aleppo. They married two months ago.


blackjedii 1st-Dec-2016 09:49 pm (UTC)


not... computing...
mimblexwimble 2nd-Dec-2016 12:18 am (UTC)
was this necessary?
blackjedii 2nd-Dec-2016 12:27 am (UTC)
I'm terrified of them.
spyral_out 2nd-Dec-2016 12:30 am (UTC)
Yeah but was it necessary?
mimblexwimble 2nd-Dec-2016 03:59 am (UTC)
I'm sure you understand how callous both your comments are, considering what this post is about.
soleiltropiques 2nd-Dec-2016 05:50 am (UTC)
Yeah I'm afraid I must say that this is in really really really poor taste in this post.
blackjedii 2nd-Dec-2016 01:09 pm (UTC)
So be it For what it's worth I just found out one of my teachers went from fine in two days to dead after pneumonia AND another family friend has a three inch tumor in her head that is currently being rushed to North Carolina so they can try and shrink it annnnd another distant family member is still on feeding tubes after having pneumonia and isn't able to get too much help because her daughter is big into elder abuse.

So yeah, I'm in a very black humor mood regarding death and despair right now. *shrugs*
soleiltropiques 2nd-Dec-2016 06:47 pm (UTC)
I'm so sorry this is happening to your friends, that's just tragic.
blackjedii 2nd-Dec-2016 07:09 pm (UTC)
It's okay - there are a lot of people to be sad about but I can't go too ar down that road.

Mostly my sister and I are just really worried bc our mom wants to visit with the family member since they were close and the daughter is possibly violent, but definitely getting a little more unhinged as it becomes clear that she's going to lose all her financial support one way or another. She is either mentally ill and has never gotten help or else a spoiled child that grew into a spoiled adult but either way incredibly toxic. Either way, my mother needs to stay very far away and she doesn't always want to hear it.

The worst part is that her mother (the one with tubes rn) won't speak up so Social Services can't act when the elder is being all like "no it's fine everything's fine."

too much talk and sadness though have a guinea pig:
soleiltropiques 2nd-Dec-2016 07:20 pm (UTC)
Oh wow that's terrible. I'm so sorry for your family.


I loved the guinea pig video, these little guys are just adorable! :)
spyral_out 2nd-Dec-2016 12:06 am (UTC)
This is so terribly sad. I hope his wife has family to care for her. I can't even imagine how must pain she must be in.
mimblexwimble 2nd-Dec-2016 04:09 am (UTC)
I don't even have words to express how heartbreaking this is. Following people like Anas or Bana Alabed, these voices of hope emerging from these horrors, and then just waiting until you hear that the worst has happened and they're gone... I cannot imagine the courage and selflessness it must have taken to stay in that city for the children when he had the means to leave.
cholulamyheart 2nd-Dec-2016 04:11 am (UTC)
I know good people die all the time and horrible things happen each year but -- man, fuck 2016
soleiltropiques 2nd-Dec-2016 05:48 am (UTC)
This is so tragic. This man was truly a hero. And to learn that he just got married as well...

Oh my god. RIP.
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