HUFFINGTON POST

Syrian Children Laugh And Play During The Ceasefire

Beautiful photographs show Syrian kids simply being kids.

It’s a rare but incredibly beautiful sight: Photographs show children playing carefree in the streets of Syria, while a U.S.- and Russia-brokered peace deal offers respite from the violence that has ripped their country apart from all sides for over five years.

As clashes between pro-regime forces and rebel militias have raged on beneath deadly Russian airstrikes and barrel bombs, some 4.7 million Syrians are seeking refuge in neighboring nations, while 6.5 million more are internally displaced. A staggering 8.4 million Syrian children are in need of humanitarian aid.

The current truce, hailed by Secretary of State John Kerry as having “the potential to change the nature of the conflict,” began on Monday with the immediate objectives of implementing a nationwide ceasefire and increasing aid access.

The deal has already yielded “a significant drop in violence” with minimal reports of casualties, United Nations Special Envoy for Syria Staffan de Mistura declared shortly after it took effect. The Syrian government, however, has continued to block foreign aid delivery to the besieged, rebel-held city of Aleppo, where hundreds of thousands of civilians are trapped.

The expressions of joy and relief captured in the images briefly distract from the battered buildings and rubble-filled streets in the background, which serve as grim reminders of the nation’s vicious civil war.

“Prior to the truce, there was fierce bombing,” a Syrian man told WorldPost Middle East Correspondent Sophia Jones on Wednesday. “Now, we can go outside,” added the man, whose young nieces played outside in Aleppo this week for the first time in months. “They’re happy now.”

Take a look at these stunning photographs of Syrian kids just being kids:

  • Syrian children play on a ride in the Syrian rebel-held town of Arbin, in the eastern Ghouta region on the outskirts of the c
    AMER ALMOHIBANY via Getty Images
    Syrian children play on a ride in the Syrian rebel-held town of Arbin, in the eastern Ghouta region on the outskirts of the capital Damascus, as they celebrate the Muslim Eid al-Adha holiday.
  • A Syrian boy jumps as he plays in the rebel-held town of Douma, on the eastern edges of the capital Damascus, on the second d
    SAMEER AL-DOUMY via Getty Images
    A Syrian boy jumps as he plays in the rebel-held town of Douma, on the eastern edges of the capital Damascus, on the second day of Eid.
  • Syrian boys play on a see-saw in Arbin.
    AMER ALMOHIBANY via Getty Images
    Syrian boys play on a see-saw in Arbin.
  • A Syrian boy rides a donkey in Douma.
    SAMEER AL-DOUMY via Getty Images
    A Syrian boy rides a donkey in Douma.
  • Syrian children ride an attraction in Arbin.
    AMER ALMOHIBANY via Getty Images
    Syrian children ride an attraction in Arbin.
  • A Syrian man carries three girls on a bicycle in the northeastern city of Qamishli.
    DELIL SOULEIMAN via Getty Images
    A Syrian man carries three girls on a bicycle in the northeastern city of Qamishli.
  • Syrian children drink from a well in Arbin.
    AMER ALMOHIBANY via Getty Images
    Syrian children drink from a well in Arbin.
  • A boy rides a horse as children play in the street in a rebel-held area of the northern Syrian city of Aleppo as they celebra
    THAER MOHAMMED via Getty Images
    A boy rides a horse as children play in the street in a rebel-held area of the northern Syrian city of Aleppo as they celebrate Eid.
  • A Syrian girl walks in the street in Arbin.
    AMER ALMOHIBANY via Getty Images
    A Syrian girl walks in the street in Arbin.
  • Syrian youths sit at a cafe in the government-held Mogambo neighborhood of Aleppo.
    YOUSSEF KARWASHAN via Getty Images
    Syrian youths sit at a cafe in the government-held Mogambo neighborhood of Aleppo.
  • Syrian children play on swings in the street in the rebel-controlled town of Hamouria, in the eastern Ghouta region on the ou
    ABD DOUMANY via Getty Images
    Syrian children play on swings in the street in the rebel-controlled town of Hamouria, in the eastern Ghouta region on the outskirts of the capital Damascus.
  • Children ride a cart in the rebel controlled city of Idlib.
    Ammar Abdullah/Reuters
    Children ride a cart in the rebel controlled city of Idlib.
  • Children play on swings in Idlib.
    Ammar Abdullah/Reuters
    Children play on swings in Idlib.
  • Smiling Syrian children play on swings in Arbin.
    AMER ALMOHIBANY via Getty Images
    Smiling Syrian children play on swings in Arbin.