January 2nd, 2013
11:12 AM ET

In Syria, school opens to displaced children

In the midst of civil war, Syrians face political upheaval, starvation, bombings and violence -  nearly 40,000 people were killed in the civil war last year, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights reported Tuesday. But one thing hasn't changed: a generation of children hoping to learn, to feel a sense of normalcy.

At one school in Damascus, 1,600 children come in two shifts. Educators say any child is welcome, regardless of political affiliation. Some students are new to the school, displaced from other areas. This school isn't entirely safe either, though. Within a few weeks late last year, 35 students and two teachers from the area were killed.

"We keep the school open and help with their fears," head teacher Abdul Kader Amouri told ITN's Alex Thomson. "We can't do as much as before, but the key thing is to try and deal with their anxiety."