Syrian children pose for a photo on a narrow street in the Shatila Palestinian refugee camp on the southern outskirts of the Lebanese capital, Beirut, on April 5, 2016. (AFP / ANWAR AMRO)
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The screams of a dozen Syrian and Palestinian children pierce the air of a community center in Lebanon's Shatila refugee camp.Hala fled Deir al-Zour in Syria and has been living in Lebanon for less than two years.Lebanon is home to more than 1 million Syrian refugees, half of them children.Gharios, a charismatic 24-year-old Lebanese psychology graduate, said children aged between seven and 14 attend the classes with up to 20 children in each session.Each class starts with the children deciding on rules for how they can and cannot treat each other.Young Syrian refugees are at particular risk of being recruited by extremist groups in Lebanon and elsewhere because their recent displacement often fuels a sense of hopelessness, says UK-based charity International Alert, which funds projects in Shatila camp, including the classes.Caroline Brooks, Syria projects manager at International Alert, which supports similar programs throughout Lebanon, Syria and Turkey, said there were many reasons why children may join an extremist group.
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