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6 Nov, 2006 13:54

King of Jordan shows support for the children of Beslan

King of Jordan shows support for the children of Beslan

The King of Jordan has played host to some of the survivors of the Beslan school siege. The children have been given the chance to explore parts of the Jordan in the hope it will help their recovery.

Two years ago, terrorists held more than a thousand people hostage in Beslan, in the republic of North Ossetia. 331 people died, the majority of them – children.

A 17 years old Batraz Misikov spent three days crammed in the gymnasium. Despite operations in Moscow and the Czech Republic his leg still hurts him. He doesn’t want to say how many friends he lost. Batraz told Russia Today:
“Beslan will not return to normal may be for generations. Only now we are starting to hold weddings. It was an awful experience and it still feels like it happened yesterday.”

Chechen separatists stormed school No 1 on a Wednesday morning in September 2004. They held more than one thousand children and adults hostage, refusing to give them water or food. Not one person in the town was left untouched by the tragedy.

The Jordanian King’s invitation is a sign of support and compassion for their suffering – a reminder that they are not alone. There is hope that tours like this will get them talking – helping them to be more like the teenagers they are and not the survivors they’ve become.

Rosteem Kelehseer, Minister of Sport, Republic of North Ossetia and Alania, told Russia Today:
“We are bringing them here to have some fun, but the pain is still inside. The most common problems are that the children don’t sleep well at night, don’t cope with their nerves – they can be suddenly aggressive at school and out of control.”

Most students have undergone many operations to remove shrapnel from their bodies. Some are still in hospital. Some of the younger children were apprehensive, reminded of the fact that the hostage takers said their operation was in the name of Islam. 

Ludmila Dzutseva , Director of school No1, expresses her opinion:
“I am not sure it is a Muslim, or non-Muslim thing, because a few of the children are Muslims themselves. The problem is the identity of objects – the beards, the head coverings – it is the attributes, they are scared of, not the religion.”

Like other countries before them, Jordan extended an invitation and is paying for the trip – it’s also a way of breaking down stereotypes.

Jordan itself  what the terror is like. It’s exactly a year since the Jordanian capital was hit by three suicide attacks. The bombers detonated their devices at the same time killing 60 people and wounding 115. For the children of North Ossetia that terror is as real as the siege on their school they survived. As the world steps up its response to such attacks, for the victims of terror such as the children of Beslan, it is good to know their trauma has not been forgotten.