Malak and the Boat: A Journey from Syria

This animation is one of our 'Unfairy Tales' series that brings to life the true stories of the Syrian crisis' youngest survivors.

7-year-old Malak fled with her family from war-torn Syria and braved a dangerous journey across the Mediterranean. "I had a lot of friends, now there is no one left," Malak says.


To Know More:

According to the United Nations, both parties to the conflict have committed war crimes violating human rights. As of end of 2016, the war has killed more than 400,000 people,  and more than 6.3 million people are internally displaced in Syria. Over 5.5 million Syrians fled to foreign countries and received a refugee status, where half of them are children. More than 80 per cent of the Syrian children have been harmed by the country's conflict, living in poverty, working instead of going to school or marrying young to survive.


Relevant Curriculum:

  • General Studies – A Global Perspective: Introduction to Common Issues of Concern
  • Life and Society (S1-S3) – Rights of the Child (Module 21), International Politics (Module 28), Global Citizenship and Humanitarian Work (Module 29)


Food for Thought:

  1. Why would Malak ride on the dinghy?

  2. What did Malak encounter during the sea journey?

  3. What are the child rights of Malak being affected with this experience? (Hints: right to survival? Right to development? Right to protection? Right to participation?)

  4. If you were Malak, would you choose to stay in your homeland or ride on the dinghy to find a new life elsewhere? Why?


Extended Reading:

UNICEF HK (2018) - Booklet of UN Convention on the Rights of the Child


Other Videos:

Heartbeat, a song for Syria

#SyriaCrisis: 5 years in 60 seconds

Mustafa Goes for a Walk