Syria: escaping the nightmare

21 May 2013

Rosan is one of more than seven million Syrian refugees who have fled the fighting.

Rosan is one of more than seven million Syrians who have been forced from their homes by the fighting.

With thousands of refugees fleeing Syria every day, your donations are helping local Church organisations to provide desperately needed aid.

Donate to our Syria Crisis appeal>>

“This is a nightmare. We will wake up soon to find ourselves in our beloved Syria,” says Ismail, a 30-year-old refugee from the Syrian city of Homs. “I feel sometimes that this is all just a dream, but then the difficulties hit you and I know it is our reality now.”

The exodus of Syrian refugees into neighbouring countries continues at a staggering rate: an estimated 8,000 people are streaming across the borders into Jordan, Lebanon and Turkey every day.

In total, more than 1.4 million refugees have been officially registered or are awaiting registration, but, with an unknown number of people unable or unwilling to register, the actual number is believed to be far higher.


Ismail fled Syria almost a year ago with his wife and their three sons. “I was under arrest for four months in Syria,” he says. “Through a miracle, I managed to escape with my family to Jordan.”

Once in Jordan, he learned from other refugees about the Caritas Jordan centre in Zarqa, where he received food, fuel and other emergency supplies.

“I was really happy to be met by welcoming people,” he says. “I couldn’t ask for more. Thank you so much Caritas. I can’t wait to see the expression of my kids when I bring them to get new clothes.”

The people of Lebanon, Jordan and Turkey have shown great compassion in welcoming refugees from Syria, but the sheer number of new arrivals is putting an enormous strain on already overstretched resources.

In many cases, it takes several weeks for newly arrived Syrians to be registered by the UN, during which time they receive no official support. Your donations mean that local church organisations like Caritas Jordan and Caritas Lebanon can plug the gap by providing food, clothing, safe places to stay and medical supplies.

Wael Suliman from Caritas Jordan said: “I would really like to thank CAFOD supporters for their support, love and solidarity. Together we can make a difference.”

Donate to our Syria Crisis appeal>>

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