Five-year-old Batoul has large cheeks and saucer-sized eyes that dart from side to side while she and the other Syrian children perform songs in Arabic and English.
She's learning from caregivers while living in an orphanage known as Bayti ("home" in Arabic) in the Turkish border town of Reyhanli, where the Syrian refugee population has topped tens of thousands in the past few years.
The classrooms on the first floor are colorfully decorated and the dormitories upstairs are neat. From the upstairs window at Bayti, the children can see the nearby Atmeh Refugee Camp on the Syrian side of the border, where some of them were living before they came here. Both the orphanage and some projects in the refugee camp are funded by the Maram Foundation, a U.S.-based aid group founded by Syrian-Americans.
Currently there are about eight orphanages in Reyhanli, but that's not nearly enough, said one of the home's directors, Nihad Abdi.
"There are so many children that need our help. But we can't take anymore," said Abdi, herself a Syrian refugee.
In its fifth year, the fighting in Syria has made orphans out of legions of children.
Of the more than 4 million Syrians who have fled their homeland, more than half are age 17 or younger, according to the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees.
Some were fortunate enough to be accompanied in flight by both parents. Many lost their fathers to the violence that has killed more than 250,000 Syrians since the fighting began in 2011. Still others are without any immediate family to look after them.
The children living at Bayti range from toddlers to young teens. All have lost their fathers and some have lost their mothers as well, said Abdi. Some of the mothers are still alive, but can't afford to keep their children at home as they try to find work in and around Reyhanli.
"Most of them can remember clearly how their fathers used to hug them and kissed them," said Abdi. "And some of them remember how their fathers were killed in front of them."
One child watches a video on YouTube of the death of his father over and over again just so he can continue to remember him, Abdi said.
Abdi said the children at Bayti were doing well, for the most part. But it hasn't been easy. Even here, where they are nurtured and cared for in relative safety from the fighting in Syria, they struggle with the horrors they witnessed.
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