“In 2014, a shell landed on Al-Manar School. my friend was killed and many of my friends were injured. Some had their legs severed, or their hands, they needed amputation and many things..” ~ 14 year old Jean Ibrahim.
DAMASCUS- during June/July 2019 I met the family of George Ibrahim, especially his incredible son, 14 year-old Jean.
On April 14th 2014, Al Manar elementary school in Bab Touma was targeted by a terrorist mortar, fired from the occupied suburbs of Eastern Ghouta.
According to some reports, 61 children were injured, some hideously, limbs lacerated & severed by the missile, while they were gathered in the playground before 8am, before they went to their classrooms. One child, Sinan Mtanious was martyred.
Now 14 years old, Jean Ibrahim described seeing his friend murdered in front of him, the shrapnel passed from one side of his neck to the other killing him instantly.
Another child, 8 or 9 years old, Lauren Bashour lost her legs in the attack according to the school Director, Ghassan Al Issa.. Ghassan showed me the exact spot the missile struck, on the steps where children gathered to talk and sit before class. Ghassan said that at least 8 children suffered severe injuries, the loss of limbs or hands, multiple shrapnel wounds as the molten metal scythed through their young flesh.
Jean, himself, told me that he still has shrapnel in his body, one piece behind his eye. I asked if it still bothers him, he shrugged “yes” he said.
George explained to me that after he had dropped Jean off at school, early on that day, he had heard the explosion. He asked someone where it was, and he was told it was at the school. He tore back to the school fearing the worst and he was met with a scene of carnage – injured, bleeding, traumatised children – he searched frantically for Jean but he couldnt find him among the mutilated bodies of children…
Jean had been terribly injured in the attack, but somehow he had managed to make it to the door of the school, shocked and bleeding from multiple shrapnel wounds to his body, he had fallen into the arms of the Syrian Army soldiers who had rushed to the aid of the children.
They had bundled him quickly into the first ambulance that sped him to hospital just before his father arrived.
To see a 14 year old child see again what he cannot unsee is heartbreaking but it is a necessary part of the grieving and recovery. We talked afterwards and he understood this.. an extraordinary boy who is now rebuilding his life.
Jean is a member of Al Thawra basketball club in Damascus. I also visited the club which had also come under attack during the terrorist occupation of Eastern Ghouta. At one point the terrorist gangs were less than 300m from the club. I met with the incredible Salam Alawi, President of the club who had her own tragic story to tell… I will be publishing her interview shortly.
There is not one area of Damascus that has not suffered bloodshed and loss.. but it will never be reported in Western media who have effectively promoted and supported the child killers that stalked, hunted and targeted civilians for more than six years.
What is striking about Jean’s speech is that, despite his own horrific memories and trauma, he ends by thanking the Syrian Arab Army who never deserted them, always protected them. George does the same.
The Syrian Army is the Syrian people – they are respected, admired, adored by the Syrian citizens who recognise their sacrifices for their country, for their families, for their children.
Honestly, damn those in the West who persist in demonizing and criminalising these heroes… without them we would all go through the same experiences as Jean and his family, his friends, his people.
Thank you with all my heart to George Ibrahim and Jean for opening their wounds and their lives to me, for sharing their trauma and for giving us such a precious insight into their suffering – an insight that is hidden from us by the hypocritical media and faux “humanitarians” in the West.
Al Manar school was targeted multiple times by the terrorist groups. In March 2018, I was in Bab Touma when a shell hit the school, fired from the areas of Eastern Ghouta being finally liberated at this time.
While Western media bleats about the Syrian government allegedly targeting schools and hospitals that are most likely occupied by these murderous terrorist gangs – the reality, ignored by these western state PR agencies, is that hospitals and schools have been targeted, destroyed by NATO’s client terrorists and are now haunted by the bloodshed they have witnessed.
Watch full interview here: