A Day at the Camp

I decided to accompany a humanitarian organization to a visit to a Syrian refugee camp, and on the way I started building my expectations on what I’m going to see there. To me it was like a mystery as I have never been to a refugee camp before. When I arrived I experienced reality first hand, for every scene in front of me spoke silently of the tragedy. I saw a child walking barefoot on the ground covered with stones, glass, and garbage; I saw a girl carrying a bucket and going to fetch water to her tent; I saw a lady accompanying her children to toilets that are far away; and I saw a newborn crying with flies roaming all around him, and his mother standing over him at a loss to what she should do.

I was in shock to what I was seeing around me, until a lady called me; she looked tired and her face was scorched from the sun. I hurried towards her and said hello, then she stuck her hand in her pocket and gave me a piece of candy saying: “This is the sweet for my son’s marriage that was yesterday.” I was surprised and I asked her: “Where was the wedding?”. She replied by saying that it was right here in the camp. I questioned her saying: “And is this a good time for people to be getting married?” She said: “I completely agree with you, but I want to ask you something; if you had a young son, and he means everything to you, and he told you that he is going to leave you and go and fight, what would you do?” That’s when I realized that she wanted her son to get married so he would give up the idea of joining the fighting in Syria. I smiled and apologized, congratulated her on the wedding and walked on thinking. What will the conditions be for the baby that’s going to be born in the camp? How will his parents be able to issue a birth certificate for him? Is he going to grow up a good environment to become the man of the future? Will live a healthy life with all the risk of disease in the camp? I had many questions but simply realized that I cannot answer any of them…

-Aisha

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Filed under Food, Health, Shelter

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