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Voices of Syrian families
Syrian families who have fled the crisis are struggling to get their voices heard. Here are some of their stories.
Dima was heavily pregnant when she left Syria with her four young children. Shortly after they arrived in the city of Tripoli in Lebanon, she delivered her fifth child, a boy.
“We used to live in a home,” Dima said. “We had all we needed in Syria.” That was until the country’s civil war, which began in March 2011. “There were explosions everywhere. Our home was destroyed. I didn’t want to ask people for help, so we decided to come to Lebanon because it’s safer.”
It is better
Dima said that life in Lebanon is expensive. “We don’t have money to live,” Dima said. “The children are not in school.” She is worried about the winter ahead: they have no clothes or heating to keep warm. But, despite these challenges, she said,
When I think of Syria, it is better here. At least my family is safe.
Mohamad and his wife Sara live barely a mile from the Syrian border in the village of Fraidis. Their home is an old school where 10 other families are living.
“We were gathering outside and suddenly, a big bomb came from behind,” said Mohamad. “It was very close, no more than 20 or 30 meters.”
Mohamad and his wife, and the nine other families living there crowded together against the back wall of their home and waited until 2am when the bombs stopped. Six bombs fell in total around the small village.
Life in Syria
Now, people living in the school are terrified that the shelling will start again.
“Sara is always afraid,” said Mohamad. “[When she thinks she hears a bomb], she drops to the ground and screams.” The contrast is stark between what life was like in Syria and what life is like today in Lebanon.
We were very happy in Syria. We had a big house - three rooms for two people. We now live in one room. We had enough money to live, to buy what we want when we wanted.