Two million refugees – and a new baby
As the number of refugees fleeing Syria passes 2 million, a new mother reflects on life in the world’s second largest refugee camp.September 3rd, 2013 | by John Abdulla
The following has been adapted from a blog post by Rachel Edwards, originally posted on Oxfam Great Britain’s blog.
Today, the number of refugees fleeing Syria surpassed two million. Over two million people have fled their homes to neighboring countries, completely uprooting their lives in Syria. This is the biggest refugee crisis of our time.
And it is in the midst of this crisis that Limar, a healthy baby girl, was born last month in Zaatari – a camp in Jordan that is now home to more than 120,000 refugees from Syria.
“It was such a beautiful day for me and for my husband to see this sweet baby,” said the baby’s mother Liqaa. “I was so happy. After giving birth I was tired, but after seeing her I forgot about my tiredness.”
But her happiness was overshadowed with the sadness of separation from her family in Syria. “I missed my family so much on that day,” she said. “I was crying, and until now I miss them so much and think of going back, but it’s not safe to go back.”
Liqaa and her husband Bassel, had become accustomed to the conditions of life in the Zaatari camp, but after giving birth she realized how much she had underestimated the hardship of raising a child in such a place. “The climate is too hot for her during the day, and in the night it’s so cold,” she explained. “Hospitals here are not that good to get medicines and medical services. Adults can get by with the services we have here, but for children it’s much harder.”
Liqaa’ and Basel’s story is not unique. With the snail’s pace of progress towards finding a political solution to the conflict, they won’t be the last to become new parents in such circumstances. Limar is just one of the two million refugees let down by the international community, and left to pay the price of this conflict.
As a spokesperson for our campaign for a political solution to the crisis in Syria, Liqaa also told us what becoming a new mother meant for her thoughts about the best way forward for Syria now:
“Now that I’ve given birth to Limar it’s even more important for me and for her to have our country back, for her to grow up there with our family. What I wish from the international community is to help the Syrian people to find a political solution, to help us to go back to our country, to our life, to our future”.
Make your voice heard: Write to your members of Congress now and ask the US to help pursue a peaceful, political solution to end the bloodshed in Syria once and for all.