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Press Centre (5/2014)

Nour: The girl who was named for the light in her eyes


Nour has been living with her family more than 3 years. She poses to camera in front of the tent that she lives in. ©UNICEF/Turkey-2014/Yurtsever
ISLAHİYE, Gaziantep, May 2014 –The name of this permanently cheerful Syrian girl is Nour. It’s hard to find someone in Islahiye Camp that doesn’t know her — she is probably the happiest child in the camp. There is no one who smiles more than Nour, especially when she is playing with her birds, doll and mobile phone.  Soon after the outbreak of violence in her country, 11-year-old Nour moved with her family from Jisr al-Shughur in the Idlib province of north-west Syria and settled in Turkey’s Islahiye Camp. She has been sharing a tent with her mother, father and her brothers Mohammed, 17, and Ali, 16, for more than three years.

Nour learned to read and write at a special school for children with Down Syndrome for two years in Syria. Unfortunately, the camp’s school does not have the capacity for children with special needs, like Nour, so she attends UNICEF’s Child Friendly Space.

Nour never misses the activities in the Child Friendly Space. She loves dancing and drawing the most.

Youth worker Ebru said, “Nour is one of the most special children in this camp for me. She visits and leaves our Child Friendly Space all by herself. Our dance and music activities make her quite happy. She has a special interest in drawing. Although she cannot attend school because of her difficulties, we encourage her to participate in the activities here regularly for her personal development.”
When Ebru is talking, Nour proudly interjects, “I’m both hardworking and smart” and makes everyone smile.

When asked what her three wishes are, Nour says that she wants the youth workers to be with her all the time, she would like to have a sister and she would love to go to the seaside.

Like many children in the camps, Nour’s dream is to be a doctor when she grows up.


Story and photos by Ayberk Yurtsever
UNICEF Turkey Country Office, Yukarı Dikmen Mah. Alexsander Dubçek Cd. 7/106, 06450 Çankaya/Ankara. Telephone: +90 312 454 1000 Fax: +90 312 496 1461 E-mail: ankara@unicef.org