In Focus | Syria

Tell-tale faces of Syria’s refugees

Syrians hold on to hope and dignity in the face of huge challenges

  • By Sunita Menon, Videographer
  • Published: 20:36 September 15, 2012
  • Gulf News

  • Image Credit: Rania Moussly/Gulf News
  • A crowd of refugees outside the UAE-Jordan field hospital.

Amman: As the airplane took off from the Queen Alia International Airport in Amman, faces of all those Syrian refugees whom I had met and interacted with during my four-day stay in Jordan flashed across my mind.

These faces were blurry at first, but as the aircraft soared higher and the landscape underneath began to blur, these faces and their surroundings became more and more defined and I was able to recognize each by their names — young Ali, Hussain and Ahmad whom I met at the play area at the UAE-Jordan field hospital. Ten-year old Mohammad a boy with special needs sitting on the gravel floor of his refugee tent alongside his father inside the Zaatari camp. Shafah, Umm Ayman, Wafa, the three Syrian women who are now living in the Mafraq with their children and baby Fatima whose birth at the field hospital brought smiles even on the faces of the Syrian refugees patients.

These are not just faces of people soaked in pain, loss and despair. For me, they speak of the fundamental quality of the human spirit which is that of grace, courage and the will to survive against all odds.

The entire Zaatari camp were over 25,000 Syrian refugees live in sand covered tents, with little no electricity and clean drinking water is for me a standing example of this fundamental quality.

Looking at the outside world from behind the fences of the camp, these Syrian men, women and children have not given up hope that the day will come soon when will go cross over to the borders and return back to their home country and smell the aroma of freshly baked bread from their oven instead of living on hand-outs.

“We are farmers who had always contributed in feeding our country, do you think we like taking aid. Insha’Allah, that day will soon come when we will go back and live with dignity once again. Our dignity is most important to us. If we don’t get food, no problem,” said one of the Syrian refugee at the camp. “Our President does not understand his people, that is why we are today in this situation,” he added.

Well said.

Gulf News
A Syrian refugee at Boynuyogun Refugee Camp

Blog: Gulf News in Jordan

Behind the fence: The Syrian refugee crisis