A vicious cycle: Early marriage for young Syrian refugee girls

Amara lives in the Saida shelter in Lebanon and she was a star student in SB OverSeas’ classes, until she no longer could come to school. She got married, pregnant, had a miscarriage and got pregnant again and had baby Amina.

But she was just 13 years old.

Read her story as told through the words and illustrations of our incredible storyteller, Félix Brassier.

Each time Félix brings another story to life through his illustrations, I get to the last page and can’t help but to have the shocking realisation that the story I’ve just read is not just a story but a young girl’s life. In this iteration in particular, the last point– that Amara’s little sister was about to go through the same traumatic journey.

At the end of last year, the attempted suicide of a 16-year-old girl in Arsal, Lebanon who was forced to marry her cousin when she was just 14 highlighted the harrowing effects of early marriage. Human rights organisations have renewed their call to the Lebanese parliament to pass a law regulating marriages to a minimum age of 18, a change from the current minimum of 15 years old.

But it’s a complicated situation.

For many Syrian families living in refugee camps, marrying their daughter means one less mouth to feed or what they hope will be a better future for her. As we see in the case of Amara’s family, the struggle she faced doesn’t deter her family away from marriage for her little sister.

‘Just Married’: Amara’s Story

‘Just Married’: Amara’s Story

Since the beginning of 2018, we have been bringing you our stories we hear from the ground about the practice of child marriage. This started when our chairperson visited Lebanon last September and was served a cup of tea by a child bride.

Since then, SB OverSeas has been determined to raise awareness on the subject. Click here to read the first comic in the series and also see our child marriage storiespublications and read about our panel events.