Stop the War: A Father’s Wish for Peace for the Sake of the Children

Photo by Jude Beck on Unsplash

Everybody wishes to live a peaceful life. But when war breaks out, it wreaks havoc in this simple wish affecting individuals, families, communities, and most of all – the children.

How many world conflicts are we facing right now? And the imminent victims? Innocent children.

The Story of Two Fathers

A video of a Syrian father with his daughter went viral online and has been picked up by many news agencies. In it, the father turned the bombings into a game for his daughter.

Abdullah al-Mohammed tells his three-year-old daughter, Salwa, to laugh each time she hears a loud explosion. He lets her imagine that the sound can be an airplane or mortar dropping. Abdullah thought of this to lighten up the situation and lessen the fright of his precious little girl from the war.

The viral video reminded some people of the film Life Is Beautiful. A 1997 Italian movie of a man named Guido Orefice who pursues his true love, starts a family, but after five years, the war breaks out and disturbs their beautiful life. It is a heartbreaking journey of Guido with his son, Giosué, in the concentration camp.

Guido acts humorous in front of his little boy so that the devastating war wouldn’t dismal his views in life. At the time of his arrest, Guido comically marches with two soldiers beside him while his son watches him leave. Riding a train with other male prisoners on the way to the concentration camp, he tries to convince Giosué with his stories that the things happening around them is just normal.

His teachings and actions shield his son from the trauma of the killings and destruction happening around them. When the war ends, the little boy reunites with his mother. He tells his mama that his father’s sacrifice for them is really worth it. Giosué carries with him the optimism Guido instilled in him and continue to live with a blissful frame of mind.

Effects of War on Children

War is expensive. It costs ammunition expense, property damage, soldiers’ lives, and, most of all, endangering the lives of family members and children. The civil war in Syria has been going on for almost a decade. Both opposing sides do not incline to cease fighting. So, the war atrocities keep going affecting the future generation.

To live in a conflict-affected area is a nightmare for children and teens. Hearing bomb explosions every day and fearing every minute of their lives may result in post-traumatic disorder (PTSD).

Fuaad Mohammed Freh, from the Department of Psychology of University, has conducted a study of Anbar in Iraq on the Psychological Effects of War and Violence on Children. The study found out that around 80% from the 94 Iraqi children who were exposed to the bombing of the Al-Ameriyah shelter on 13th February 1991, have developed PTSD symptoms. Most of the children showed signs of depression and the inherent fear of losing their family members.

Then, a study in Lebanon found out that 43% of Lebanese children continue to show post-traumatic stress symptoms even ten years after their war experience.

Exposure to war and violence during the growing years may lead to some mental disorders, aggressiveness, impulsiveness, anxiety, depression, difficulty focusing, and loss of morality and trust in the people around them. The said impacts hamper the development of the children to a bright future that should be waiting for them.

Therefore, almost all of us wish for peace for the future generation’s welfare. A post from a netizen says, “Let’s pray that every child around the world irrespective of color and religion gets a kind childhood to live.”

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