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‘Tireless bullying’ makes nine-year-old Syrian girl commit suicide in Canada

Amal Alshteiwi

A nine-year-old Syrian girl, who along with her parents was forced to flee the violence in the Arab country, has committed suicide as a result of incessant bullying at a school in Canada.

Amal Alshteiwi took her own life in March after what her parents said was due to "tireless bullying" at a Calgary school in the western Canadian province of Alberta.

Aref Alshteiwi and Nasra Abdulrahmin, the parents of a family of eight, said their daughter's teacher had been informed of the bullying but took no action to curtail the situation.

"When I noticed that my kid was having problems at the school and slipping away, and all my other kids, they are not happy at school, I went to the school myself," Nasra said.

Amal’s father described the situation as “intolerable,” and said, "The kids were bullying my daughter and even asking her to go and hang herself and kill herself.”

Amal’s parents ultimately decided to transfer their daughter to another school but four days after the move she committed suicide.

Police conducted more than a dozen interviews after Amal’s death but no charges have been laid so far.

Speaking of the incident for the first time on Monday, Christopher Usih, the head of the Calgary Board of Education, said there is no place for bullying in the city's schools and that the board was taking the incident "extremely seriously."

Amal's family said there has been an outpouring of support from refugees and support groups in Canada in the weeks following her death.

The Syrian family fled violence in their homeland and arrived in Canada nearly three years ago.

Syria has been gripped by foreign-backed militancy since March 2011. The Syrian government says the Israeli regime and its Western and regional allies are aiding Takfiri terrorist groups wreaking havoc in the country.

The Syrian conflict has left 6.6 million displaced internally and 5.6 million around the world, according to the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR). 

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