Schoolboy’s Syria hunger strike is over

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A SCHOOLBOY who undertook a six-day hunger strike to draw attention to the plight of Syrian refugees ended his food ban by snacking on a banana.

Hussein Almasharqah, 14, gave up food last Friday after being left shocked by the scenes inside the Yarmouk refugee camp on TV.

After the banana, the Livingston lad then downed yoghurt before tucking into one of his favourite dishes – an Arabic meal cooked by his mum.

The third-year Linlithgow Academy pupil said: “I couldn’t go on with the protest any more, because it would have been self-harm and that is not the reason I was doing it.

“You need to keep healthy to help others.

“I was doing this to raise awareness. I thought the message spread wide enough and hope that the government has taken it into consideration.”

He added: “My first meal tasted really good. I was relieved. But I hope that the people in Syria were equally relieved.”

His dad, Riyad, a plastic ­surgeon at St John’s Hospital, said: “He can be quite proud of his efforts, he raised the issue with the politicians and drew people’s attention to the plight of the Syrian refugees.

“However, both his mother and I are glad that he is now back eating. His mother didn’t sleep for the entirety of his hunger strike.”