Video of Syrian dad turning sounds of war into a 'game' to protect daughter from trauma goes viral

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A screenshot from the video showing father Abdallah al-Muhammad and his daughter. SCREENSHOT: TWITTER

ISTANBUL (REUTERS) - Syrian video journalist Abdallah al-Muhammad has invented a game to cushion his young daughter from the trauma of hearing the deafening cacophony of air strikes and shelling near his home in north-west Syria's Idlib.

A video posted by Muhammad on social media this week, showing him and his three-year-old daughter Salwa laughing at the sound of shelling in Idlib during this game, has gone viral.

Syrian troops, supported by Russian warplanes have been advancing since December against the last rebel bastions in Idlib and Aleppo provinces, in what could be one of the final chapters of the nine-year-old civil war.

Loud noises would startle and frighten Salwa, Muhammad told Reuters Television in the town of Sarmada, so he decided to ask children playing nearby to light a firecracker, demonstrating to Salwa that the noise was just for fun.

"They started laughing, and she started laughing, and saw that the thing is just a game," Muhammad said.

"Two days later, the air force hit, and I immediately told her not to fear, it's just kids detonating firecrackers."

"I turn the matter into a game so that she won't be afraid," he said.

The unorthodox trauma-prevention technique seems to be working.

"It's not scary, it's funny," Salwa said.

The video has struck a chord with people on the Internet.

"This is life in Syria and it breaks my heart," said Twitter user Travis Akers.

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