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This Syrian Girl Has Been Training In Karate Amid Aleppo's Ruins

Six-year-old Nour trained with her parents in bombed-out Aleppo, Syria.

Posted on August 15, 2017, at 12:54 p.m. ET

This is Nour.

Anadolu Agency / Getty Images

She's 6 years old, and dreams of one day being a karate champion.

Yehya Alrejjo / Via Facebook: TheSyriaCampaign

Nour was born in Syria in 2011 and has never known anything but the brutal civil war currently being fought by rebels opposed to the dictatorship of Bashar al-Assad.

The conflict has devastated the country, displacing millions and killing tens of thousands. Particularly affected has been Nour's birthplace, Aleppo, which became one of the focal points of the conflict until the city was recaptured by government forces at the end of 2016.

Nour's parents, Wassim — who is a black belt himself — and Ala, always wanted their only daughter to love the sport and trained her from a young age.

But in devastated Aleppo, Wassim couldn't find a place to train with his daughter, photographer Yehya Alrejjo told BuzzFeed News. So they improvised:

Anadolu Agency / Getty Images

During the worst of the siege, the family fled the city and moved to the neighboring countryside village of Kafr Kermin. Here, they continued to train and Nour eventually began performing for small groups.

Now, her family told Alrejjo, she's well-known in the area and people come to watch her fight. She keeps training with her father, who says they also try to watch YouTube videos of karate to help.

Wassim says he doesn't want to leave Syria. Instead, he wants his only child to grow up to be a champion fighter, part of "a beautiful beginning for the new Syria."


Anadolu Agency / Getty Images

A BuzzFeed News investigation, in partnership with the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists, based on thousands of documents the government didn't want you to see.