My precious country, I have been away from you for a long time. Ten years have passed and we are apart.
I long for the family house, for the gathering in Ramadan, and for the coffee that my mother makes every morning. I miss my father’s promises of prayers and his well wishes for us. I miss the voices of my siblings all over the house.
I yearn for each street, sidewalk and shop in Aleppo. I feel nostalgic for the smell of Jasmine tree at my grandfather’s house, and for my grandmother’s stories.
I miss all the details of my daily life that I used not to give attention.
I miss a country that provides me with freedom and dignity, and not to be labelled by a “refugee”. I wish to go back to Syria, but my country is suffering, bleeding, and it is ruined.
I ask God to protect and look over my country and its people.
Rania, from Syria, participant at JRS social centre in Beirut, Lebanon
A decade after war began, Syria remains the world’s largest crisis of displacement. More than 6.6 million people have been forced to flee from Syria and an additional 6.5 million are displaced within Syria. Many have fled with and without their families, leaving behind the life they once knew to seek refuge.
Syrians are struggling to meet their basic needs, and the consequences of the war have been catastrophic for civilians, particularly children, who have been deprived of assistance and safety. Inside Syria, nearly 80 percent of people live in poverty and 90 percent of children are in need of humanitarian assistance. In neighboring countries, who host the vast majority of Syrian refugees, one out of three school-age Syrian refugee children in host countries are out of school.
The war and destruction causing people to flee from their homes is not over. Some experts estimate more than 6 million more people could further be displaced in the coming years.
The US has been an important partner in responding to this crisis, yet Syrians continue to face deteriorating economic conditions in their host communities, fear of forced returns to their homeland, and diminishing attention from the global community.
“Ten Years after war began, Syrians still need our support and solidarity. Despite a desperate need and desire for peace, the situation in Syria remains dramatically unstable, forcing Syrians to continue to flee their homes amidst unrelenting suffering,” said Joan Rosenhauer, Executive Director of JRS/USA.
On the 10 year anniversary, you can take action to support displaced Syrians by urging President Biden and Congress to prioritize the needs of Syrians and to engage in humanitarian and diplomatic efforts to champion their cause.
More About JRS’s Work with Syrians
JRS is on the frontlines, working with displaced Syrians by providing access to education, mental health care, livelihoods, and protection programs.
JRS Syria began its work in 2008 with a range of activities and programs for Iraqis who had sought refuge in Syria. These activities changed dramatically with the outbreak of the Syrian crisis in March 2011. For more than seven years now, the war has taken its toll on the lives and property of the Syrian people: infrastructure is destroyed, and the economy is in shambles.
JRS Syria has been responding to the needs of those most affected by the conflict in and around Damascus, Aleppo, Homs, Kafroun, and rural Tartous.
JRS has also served Syrian refugees in host countries around the world. In the region, our work in Lebanon and Jordan has helped Syrian refugees access education or recover from trauma. In Europe, JRS has helped Syrian refugees with everything from legal assistance to recreational activities.