Barely Escaping with Their Lives!

Refugees in Jordan

Syrian Refugee Families in Jordan

Abu Mustafa (“Abed”) owned a small dry cleaning business back in Syria. One day, when his 15-year-old son, Mustafa, was helping him, Abed went out for an errand, leaving Mustafa in the shop. While Abed was away, a rocket fell near the building. The blast cost Mustafa his right arm and leg. Abed decided it was time to get his family out of Syria.

Abed, his wife, and their youngest child went to the Zatari refugee camp near the Jordan-Syria border. They stayed there for one month until Abed headed back to Syria to bring his other four children to Jordan. He spent one year getting everyone’s paperwork through. When they arrived, they spent ten days in Al-Azaq Camp until a family sponsored them to move out.

The family happened upon a man who had lost his leg. He told them about GHNI and gave Rami’s number to Mustafa. Two weeks ago, we visited the family in their home. They came into the office recently and informed us that the UN had called them, telling them that they would help with their visas. Overjoyed to hear the news, the staff celebrated with them. Shortly after that, someone donated money for surgery and prosthetics for Mustafa.

Families Adopting Families

*Martin found his faith in Iraq. As a soldier in the Kurdish army, he was very focused on worldly concerns. However, a friend invited him to church, and he was moved by the songs and worship. He became so dedicated, attending every service thereafter, even if none of his friends would go with him. The pastor prayed over him. Now Martin, a man who never used to pray, prays for up to three hours at a time.

One day a suicide bomber came at Martin while he was on duty. He shot at the bomber and missed. The soldier behind him had better luck, but the bomber still succeeded in detonating. The blast wounded all seven of the soldiers behind Martin, killing some. However, Martin remained unscathed. He attributes this to his faith, certain that his God protected him.

Martin was eventually captured, imprisoned, and tortured for two months, awaiting execution. His teeth were broken and he was electrocuted. However, the night before his execution date, the other prisoners had a vision of an angel taking Martin by the hand and walking him out of the prison. The next day, the opposing regime fell and the prisoners were released, including Martin.

When another violent group took Mosul on August 6, 2014, their number was only 300. The Kurdish soldiers were more than 60,000, yet the army left Mosul without a fight. Martin theorizes that Prime Minister Maliki told them to abandon the village. The violent demanded those of certain faiths to either pay the Jizya (a subjugation tax amounting to 50% of their income) or leave. Some paid the tax but were still strongly pressured to convert, so all residents ultimately left Mosul.

This violent group set up checkpoints around the area, robbing those who left. Everything Martin’s family owned was stolen at the checkpoint they passed. One of the other families that were stopped had nothing to give, so the terrorists took their young daughter. Luckily, they were soon ordered to give her back.

Martin got his family to Jordan safely. He now lives in Marka, a neighborhood in Amman, with his wife, his two children, two sisters, two nephews, and one niece. He struggles to support his household of nine with the 75 JD (about $105) per month that he receives in aid. He hopes to go to the United States.

GHNI Assistant Regional Field Leader