Back to school at former Islamic State prison
Students are seen leaving, after class, the "Aisha Mother of the Believers" school which was recently reopened after rebels took control of al-Rai town from Islamic State militants, Syria January 16, 2017. REUTERS/Khalil Ashawi
With no chairs or desks, around 250 children huddled in classrooms on mats to stay off the cold concrete at the Aisha Mother of the Believers school in al-Rai, in the northern Aleppo hinterland near the Turkish border. REUTERS/Khalil Ashawi
Sifting through ripped up textbooks and writing on broken whiteboards, Syrian children returned this week to a dilapidated small-town school that was used by Islamic State militants as a prison for more than two years. REUTERS/Khalil Ashawi
The students, aged 5-15, were given notebooks and pens on their first day back on Monday by seven volunteers who teach reading, writing and maths and helped get the school habitable again over the past six weeks. REUTERS/Khalil Ashawi
The school previously taught 500 students before being seized 2 1/2 years ago by Islamic State insurgents, who slapped logos on school bags bearing the slogan "Cubs of the Caliphate", residents said. REUTERS/Khalil Ashawi
The principal and teachers fled the area when Islamic State took over and parents stopped sending their children to the school, which closed after two months and was used to house prisoners of the ultra-hardline jihadists. Volunteers set about trying...more
A student carries belongings in a plastic bag as he arrives to attend a class. REUTERS/Khalil Ashawi
With shattered windows, bullet strewn walls, debris and broken equipment still present, there is plenty left to do for the team of volunteers, who say they are seeking funding from local and Turkish authorities. REUTERS/Khalil Ashawi
Students sit on damaged desks. REUTERS/Khalil Ashawi
Students gesture as they stand in line. REUTERS/Khalil Ashawi
A student carries a Unicef-donated school bag. REUTERS/Khalil Ashawi
Students play. REUTERS/Khalil Ashawi
Students stand amid damaged desks and books. REUTERS/Khalil Ashawi
A damaged laboratory model of a human head is seen. REUTERS/Khalil Ashawi
A classroom used as a prison by Islamic State militants. REUTERS/Khalil Ashawi
Students' shoes are seen on a broken window. REUTERS/Khalil Ashawi
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