Syrian Father Teaches Daughter to Laugh when Bombs Fall
Abdullah Mohammed would do anything to make his daughter happy. That includes forcing himself to laugh with her when they hear bombs explode. The game helps ease the young girl's fears.
In Idlib, that means there is a lot of laughter.
Idlib province in northwestern Syria is the last opposition-held territory in the country. It has been at the center of a military campaign by Syrian government troops since early December. The Russian military is providing support to the government offensive.
More than 900,000 civilians have been forced from their homes since the end of 2019. Many now live in temporary shelters and in open fields near the Turkish border.
As the troops neared Mohammed's hometown of Saraqeb two months ago, he fled with his wife and daughter to the town of Sarmada. They are now staying in a house there offered to him by a friend.
Mohammed and his 3-year-old daughter, Salwa, have become internet celebrities after a video they recorded was shared widely on social media. In the video, Salwa is wearing a pink dress as she stands on a sofa next to her father.
Mohammed asks his daughter: "Is that a plane or a shell?"
"A shell," she answers. "And when it falls we will laugh!"
As the sound of the explosion can be heard in the distance, the little girl bursts into laughter. Her father laughs with her.
Mohammed said he thought up the game to help his daughter deal with her fear.
Salwa had been hearing bombs all her life. As a baby there was no fear, but that changed after her first year. One day, the family was at home in Saraqeb during Eid al-Fitr, the holiday that marks the end of the Muslim holy month of Ramadan.
Children outside were celebrating with fireworks, and a big one exploded near the family's home.
"She was frightened, but I took her out and showed her that children were playing and laughing," Mohammed said.
That was how he got the idea to connect the sound of bombs with laughter and children playing, and to film himself laughing with his daughter every time warplanes hit.
Mohammed said now every time they hear warplanes or artillery shells, Salwa turns to him and waits for his reaction. He pulls out his cellphone to record a video as the two wait to hear the loud noise. Then, they laugh.
On a recent day, Mohammed sat and watched Salwa as she played with her toys. He said the war has destroyed the hopes and dreams of his generation and those of their children.
"The most I hope for is to stay alive, along with my daughter and everyone else," he said. "We forgot about the bigger hopes, they don't exist anymore."
Mohammed gets emotional talking about it. He says he understands that the bombs they laugh about could be ending someone's life.
"Maybe it hit a tent or a child, and this is not funny of course. This is very sad," he said. "But I'm laughing so that my daughter doesn't get affected by this. And if the shell were to fall on us, better that we die laughing than to die scared."
I'm Ashley Thompson.
1.pull out 撤离；退出
The World Bank should pull out of the project.
2.social media 社交媒体
We have all witnessed the power of social media.
3.government troops 政府军
Government troops closed the airport
4.military campaign 军事行动
They planned out a military campaign.
5.It has been at the center of a military campaign by Syrian government troops since early December.
at the center of 在...中心
He had been denied what he believed to be his rightful position at the center of things.
At the center of the dial is a piece of smoky glass.
6.As the sound of the explosion can be heard in the distance, the little girl bursts into laughter.
bursts into laughter 开怀大笑
He burst into laughter when he heard the joke.
Her humorous story made me burst into laughter sometimes.
为了让女儿开心，阿卜杜拉·穆罕默德什么都愿意做 。包括当听到炸弹爆炸时强迫自己和女儿一起大笑 。这样有助于缓解女儿的恐惧 。
叙利亚西北部的伊德利布省是该国反对派控制的最后一处领土 。自去年12月初以来，这里一直是叙利亚政府军军事行动的中心 。俄罗斯军队正在为政府军的攻势提供支持 。
自2019年年底以来，已经有90多万平民被迫离开家园 。许多人现在住在靠近土耳其边境的临时庇护所和野外 。
两个月前，随着政府军逼近穆罕默德的家乡萨拉奇布，他和妻女一起逃到了萨尔玛达镇 。他们现在借住在朋友的房子内 。
他们拍摄的视频在社交媒体上走红后，穆罕默德和他三岁的女儿萨尔瓦成了网红 。在视频中，身穿粉红色连衣裙的萨尔瓦站在沙发上靠在父亲身旁 。
爆炸声在远处响起，小女孩突然大笑 。她的父亲也跟着一起笑起来 。
萨尔瓦在炸弹声中长大 。婴儿时期的她还不知道害怕，但是一岁时她开始懂事了 。开斋节期间的某天，这家人当时还在萨拉奇布的家里，开斋节标志着穆斯林斋月的结束 。
默罕默德表示，现在，每次听到战机或炮弹时，萨尔瓦都会看向他等着他的反应 。当他们俩等待着炸弹发出的巨响时，他会掏出手机录制视频 。然后，父女俩开始大笑 。
最近的一天，穆罕默德坐那看着萨尔瓦玩玩具 。他说，战争毁灭了他们这代人及他们下一代的希冀和梦想 。
他说：“我最大的愿望是与女儿还有其他幸存者活下去 。再无其他奢念，那些愿望再也不存在了 。”
穆罕默德谈到这些时非常激动 。他说，他知道他们笑话的炸弹随时会让人丧命 。
他说：“也炸弹会击中一顶帐篷或一个小孩，这当然不好笑 。这是一件很悲伤的事情 。但是我只有笑，我的女儿才不会受到炸弹的影响 。如果炸弹落在我们身上，在笑声中死去也好于在恐惧中死去 。”