"I thought I would be there forever," the man says after his eight-month ordeal.
Continued violence and insecurity in Syria have driven 6.8 million people from their homes. Amid the severe deprivation and uncertainty that come with displacement, mothers like Nada, 28, draw on whatever support they can get to meet their children's basic needs while aspiring for a better future.
If only it were so easy. The leader of a war-torn Middle Eastern country commits an atrocity; the West removes him. Problem solved. At least, that's the way Prime Minister Justin Trudeau seems to see the future in Syria. The only problem is that Trudeau has forgotten the many other players who have a stake in what happens in Syria.
We have a problem, rather, a preoccupation with power. It is human nature to want and crave it, but the ways we get it and keep it are usually inhumane. The simplest, most base feeling of power is that of physical might. The ability to defeat one's foes in combat.
I write this with the crippling cries of a small child playing in my earphones, nerve gas choking him literally to death, his desperate rasping gasps for breath ringing in my ears and unnerving my insides, his agony repeating over and over in the background as a foaming espresso machine steams beside me at the counter.
After six years of violence, Syrian children need us to believe in them more than ever. We must to ensure that an entire generation of children with dreams for the future doesn't get lost in the rubble. I have been allowed to grow up in peace into a future that allows me to work for my dreams. Syrian children deserve the same.
On the eve of the sixth anniversary of the Syrian conflict, World Vision has released a report, comparing the fears and dreams of Syrian children with those from other countries. We wanted to get a better understanding of how violence might affect a child's view of the world.
Challenges in access in several parts of Syria stand in the way of assessing the full scale of children's suffering and of urgently getting humanitarian assistance to the most vulnerable girls and boys. Beyond the bombs, bullets and explosions, children are dying in silence often from diseases that can otherwise be easily prevented. Access to medical care, lifesaving supplies and other basic services remains difficult.
It is hard to not be inspired when the Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau stated that "to those fleeing persecution, terror and war, Canadians will welcome you, regardless of your faith. Diversity is our strength." It is time for Canada to lead by example yet again.
From Syria to Yemen and Iraq, from South Sudan to Nigeria, children are affected by relentless conflicts and displacement crises, as well as devastation wrought by natural disasters.