Omar suffers from a growth hormone deficiency, the result of a dysfunctional pituitary gland, and as a result is trapped in a tiny body. He looks around five but is actually seven-years-old.
He and his family fled Syria two years ago after the revolution began and government forces started shelling his hometown of Idlib. There he was receiving regular hormone and vitamin treatment to help him grow. But in Tripoli, northern Lebanon where his family took refuge, the treatment is too expensive even for aid organizations to cover.
Omar attends a “second shift” school for refugees, where French is his favorite subject.
When asked about his memories of Syria, he says: “I remember when my uncle Ahmed was killed, he was hit with three bullets. One in his leg, one in his back, one in his shoulder. Then a lot of blood came out.”
There is hope for young Omar. He and his family are now being considered for resettlement in Europe, where his treatment can be paid for in full.
(Photos: A McConnell / UNHCR)