Syria: Parkour in the shadow of war

A group of teenagers have been practising Parkour in the frontline town of Inkhil for around two years, often in school courtyards and on quiet days when there is no fighting in the area.

Photo by: Reuters
Photo by: Reuters

The young men practise Parkour across rebel-held Inkhil, saying they find escape in the physical discipline.

Leaping over bombed roofs and jumping through damaged window frames, a group of teenagers run and swing their way through buildings left dilapidated by six years of war in the southern Syrian town of Inkhil.

The young men practise Parkour across rebel-held Inkhil, saying they find escape in the physical discipline which involves climbing, leaping and running over buildings and grounds.

"When I jump from a high place I feel free and I enjoy it," 18-year-old Muhannad al-Kadiri said. "I love competing with my friends to see who can achieve the highest jump."

The group of about 15 have been practising Parkour for around two years, often in school courtyards and on quiet days when there is no fighting in the area.

Inkhil is located near a frontline between rebels and Syrian regime forces in an area that has been subjected to air strikes and shelling during the conflict.

The Parkour leaps can take their toll and members of the group have suffered broken toes, bruises and even a twisted neck during training.

The teenagers film and photograph each other and upload the footage on Facebook. They even have an audience.

"(Parkour) is exciting and relies on physical fitness and skill," spectator Ayman said during one training session.

"But it is dangerous especially because they attempt it in damaged areas. I hope they get better and learn new skills."

"Parkour gets us out of the atmosphere of war and makes us forget some of our pain," Kadiri said.

Source: 
Reuters