The impact of the humanitarian crisis in Syria has increased the numbers of underage girls who have been forced to get married. The underage marriage has existed in Syria before the crisis, but now years into the conflict have showed that underage marriage has increased among the communities in Syria. The longer the humanitarian crisis in Syria lasts, the more Syrian families use many coping mechanisms. The conflict has given a new sense of urgency and desperation of the families to urge their daughters to the marriage at a very young age.There are numerous of reasons have pressured many Syrian families to get their young daughters into marriages. Some families chose to marry off their daughters because of tradition. Others see the marriage as protection for their daughters, but poverty drives most of these families. Other parents are lacking economic and financial resources and are pressured to protect their daughters from any possible threat due to the ongoing conflict in Syria. Therefore, families have considered marrying their underage daughters as the best way to protect them and ease pressures on the family resources.
Many research studies suggest that young marriage often denies a girl the right to education and could leave her with fewer chances to take advantage of any economic opportunities. As a result, underage brides are likely to remain poor. Also, underage marriage is also a barrier to education, with girls expected to leave school in order to care for their husband and home, or to begin childcare. Huda is just 16 years old, but she got married at such a young age. Huda didn’t want to get married and wanted to finish her studies, but she was forced into marriage due to the social and economic pressures. Her husband was working in one of the shops locally for a very little money. However, after one year of marriage, Huda’s house was hit by shells that led to the death of her husband. The death incident has left her as a widow at this age and with one-month-old child. Huda was left devastated and lived in very dire life conditions.
Huda decided to challenge these difficulties and return to school to continue her education. She joined Anamel School to study literature and peruse her study. One of the teachers from Anamel School said: “Despite all the sadness that we all can see in Huda’s eyes, she shows high motivation and commitment at the school”. “Huda has a very creative personality, and her talent can be seen in her drawings perhaps because she can express her suffering through painting”. Arastan Anamel School teacher said that Huda’s smile is always shining on her face despite the pain, anxiety, and fear of poverty and lack of resources that she struggles with.”I am always trying to study hard and look after my child on the same time,” said Huda. Anamel School has supported Huda economically to enable her to complete her study.
Huda was able to get excellent results in her first semester school exam, so Anamel School has decided to motivate her and other students and organise a small gallery that she and the other students can show their paintings.The gallery initiative was to congratulate Huda and the other students for their determination in overcome their difficulties and peruse their education throughout the ongoing conflicts. Huda was very grateful, and she had tears in her eyes when she said: “I feel that I got my life back after I almost lost everything. I thank the teachers and all the students in the school that have helped me to be here today and all I wish I could give something back to you all.”