Until recently, kids in war-torn Syria who had skateboards rode them sitting down. They'd never seen anyone stand on a board, until now. Right across from the Qudsaya school near Damascus, a bunch of strangers suddenly appeared recently and began digging in the rubble. Says one, "Every day on breaks or after school, hundreds of kids would swarm around, trying to figure out what we were digging. At first they assumed we were soccer players because, to them, white people play soccer. We had to sign a lot of autographs, and we put up signs that told what we were doing."


These men were building the first skate park in Syria, made with cooperation from Skate Aid  and SOS Children's Villages of Syria. The park is open now, and as you can see from the photo, kids are eager to stop thinking about the horrible conditions they've been through and start having fun again. Foreign activists from around the world volunteered to help build the park, and are willing to train Syrian kids on skateboarding. Said one 12-year-old proudly, "I fell lots of times when I first tried standing on my skateboard, and it hurt. But now I know how to do it."