It was safe when we were in Syria, in our community. The boy acted as if we were still in Syria. We all did. He was seven years old. He was playing by the door, not in the street or something. Just in front of his house…it was 1:30 a.m., scorching hot. No windows. He was playing with children. The neighbor, the killer…was watching everything. We looked for him till 6 a.m., we didn’t leave a single garden unsearched. The police called us to station and offered us a glass of water and a cup of coffee… in Syria you expect a beating after being offered water or coffee by police. I prayed for the best. They took out the cell phone and showed me his picture. His father was born mute. When the police showed me the pictures, I became mute. The things they did to him, I don’t know why they did that. They are godless. For his funeral, we brought him here in his shroud, but I refused to allow them to remove it to kiss his face goodbye as customary. I forbade this because what the killer did to him was terrifying. I told them to say goodbye with his face covered.

Ahmad’s paternal uncle, Abu Hamood, 47

Because of the war, his schooling was delayed. He was finally going to start school this year. Everything was taken away from him, the childhood, his studies, everything that every child must have.

Screen Shot 2017-08-31 at 6.40.42 PM

This the only pair of clothes that Ahmad’s parents kept, the track suit that he loved most.