Adonis Diaries

Stories of 13 million refugees from the four corners of the world: 3 million from just Syria. And what Hanan reported

Posted on: August 30, 2014

Stories of 13 million refugees from the four corners of the world: 3 million from just Syria

And what Hanan reported

Half of Syria population of over 20 million has been displaced in the last 4 years of internal/external wars on its territory.

3 million took “refuge” in Lebanon, Jordan and Turkey. 8 million are internal refugees and cannot return to their hometowns.

And the US is still deliberating on “how appropriate it is” to coordinate attacks on Da3esh with the elected Syrian government.

We have refugees from Sudan, Somalia, Libya, Iraq, Yemen…

And Lebanon is barely receiving crumbs from the world community to aid the refugees.

And the children of refugees (far more numerous than Lebanese children) who need to join our rickety and badly funded school system.

And refugee mothers giving birth in far greater numbers than Lebanese mothers… in our rare public hospitals, which are barely funded

Half the population in Lebanon are refugees of some kinds

And the other half took refuge in other countries, just to enjoy basic human rights and facilities.

Hanane Kai posted a few weeks ago on FB:

I spent the day yesterday in Halba (town in north Lebanon in the Akkar district) listening to the stories of women Syrian refugees for my illustration book.
For me stories like this existed only in the movies and on TV.

To hear a woman talking, for one hour, about her 10-hour barefoot walk from Syria to Lebanon, carrying on her shoulders her 6 year old daughter and next to her, her 9 year old boy, and all the things that happened on the way…

To hear another woman say that at some point she even thought about leaving behind her disabled child so she could save her other 4 children, but she couldn’t.

(It actually happened for the Yazidi minorities on mount Sinjar in north Iraq, fleeing ISIS Islamic extremists)

To hear a woman tell us about the prefect relationship with her sweet brother, and how she heard about his death on the news, with the word terrorist attached to his name.

To see a woman cry to the thought of the situation she’s living in now, compared with all the lands and houses and pride she had in Syria.

To hear about how all these women had to leave their lives behind to save their lives, is just overwhelming!

These women are strong!

They are strong even to have shared what they have shared with us.
What hurts even more is that one of the hardest thing they are facing now is the way Lebanese look at them, the way Lebanese look at Syrians.

Their wishes? To go back to their homes, farms, lands and businesses in Syria, even if they are demolished.
After all, women say الحمد لله ‘thank god’ we have a place to live now, and we are able to eat.

After this day, I go back home, and I’m thanking god I have a home.

I open the door and William smiles at me, and I thank god I have a partner, I have a family, I have friends.

I thank god for everything my parents had gone through to provide me with food, care, support, and what they believe is the best education.

Lebanon is the country with the highest per capita concentration of refugees worldwide.

I understand that this is hard on us Lebanese, though it’s way harder on the refugees.

The least we can do is respect these people, put ourselves in their shoes for at least one single moment.

PS: yesterday I was part of a team working on a project to make the voices of Syrian refugees heard.

It’s a beautiful project with the American journalist Masha Hamilton, through Concern Worldwide, an NGO that works with the world poorest people to transform their lives. More details about the project very soon.

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