Eight years of Syrian conflict: stories of survival
To reflect on eight full years since the beginning of the Syrian crisis, we met with three Syrian women who are attempting to rebuild their lives in northern Lebanon.
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The war in Syria has forced millions of innocent people to flee their homes, leaving behind their belongings, livelihoods and dreams. Many are now living in temporary tent settlements in Lebanon, where Concern Worldwide is providing emergency aid.
People’s lives have literally been torn apart. Here, they tell their stories of struggle and desperation.
Wassef, his wife Naja and their three children fled Syria after their home was destroyed. They are now living in a tented settlement. Between rent, water and food, medicine and other basic needs, it is nearly impossible for the family to make ends meet.
It is a far cry from the life they are used to. Wassef explained:
Before the war, I worked in iron. When the war started, I could no longer work. Here in Lebanon, I wait for work — for every 20 days or so I get one day of work. I have five people to take care of. I am upset that I can’t provide for my family. In Syria, we had gardens and ate whatever we wanted. After the war, the only thing I could think about was how to keep me and my family safe.
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Yara felt she had no choice but to leave Syria along with her four children and start over as refugees in Lebanon. They now live alongside 32 other Syrian families on a patch of dirt beside a road in a tented settlement. They have been badly affected by severe weather conditions and we are providing assistance to help prepare them for the harsh winter that lies ahead. Yara described the sheer desperation of her situation:
Every day is like a year here. We were living. Now we have nothing. We need God. And you.
Habib and his family fled their homes in Syria. Now, they are living alongside many other families in the basement of an unfinished concrete building with sporadic electricity and no safe drinking water. Habib explained the stark contrast between their current situation and the lives they used to lead:
Put yourself in my position. It was because of my family that I came here. In Syria, I was everything. I had money. Here, I am nothing.
*The names in this blog have been changed.