Perseverance in the Face of Tragedy
Posted January 16, 2019
Families Adopting Families
*Nono is an elderly lady from Bagdad, Iraq who lives with her daughter and son. In 2016, a bomb exploded beside their house and, consequently, her son was killed, and her house was destroyed. Because of this, the family decided to flee to Duhok, Iraq and stayed there for a month at her daughter’s house. When their papers were approved, they left Iraq for Jordan.
Their physical health is not good. Nono is a cancer patient and needs special treatment and medicine. Her son is not able to work because refugees are not allowed to work in Jordan unless they have residency papers. During the visit, they brought us coffee. They were happy and in good spirits. Before leaving, we took pictures together and encouraged the family to stay strong. They told us that they have hope for the future.
This month, we treated an Iraqi patient, *Yazen, who is five years old. He is from a minority religion and is an only child. The family is originally from the south, but they moved to Kirkuk. This group faced a lot of persecution in Iraq due to their beliefs, but they are always peaceful and lovely. The family has lived in Jordan for four years and usually comes to the clinic for follow ups. Yazen has a funny attitude and an adorable smile. He is so cheerful that he attracts others. His family has a difficult situation, but they are thankful for the help they receive.
We are currently facing many challenges, the biggest of which is the increasing number of patients. There is a lack of medication and limited resources to serve all the patients.
Yemeni Refugees in Jordan
*Sofia used to live with her family in Yemen, but after the war started the whole family was separated. Her son, who was only fifteen at the time, was forced to flee illegally to Jordan so he would be able to help his family move to a safer place. He works as a car washer and cleans apartment halls. He is now eighteen and has worked in Jordan for three years.
Sofia was so happy when she was able to see her son again. It had been almost five years since she had seen him because he was fighting in the war in Yemen before going to Jordan. She told us that nearly every night she would miss him so much and cry. Her husband is still in Yemen and all of her relatives are, too. Her other son is married and lives separately from them. Sofia and her cousin’s daughter only arrived in Jordan two months ago, but they are already feeling safe. They are living in a small apartment that is big enough for Sofia, her two sons and their cousins.
We gave the family food boxes, took a picture with them, and then they thanked us for our visit. They were smiling the whole time since we entered the house. The atmosphere was happy and pleasant even though they have been through a lot. Sofia is good and healthy now but has lost her teeth because of the bombings and her eyesight is failing due to her age. They are thankful that they did not suffer worse.
The clinic treated 160 patients this month and the majority were from Yemen and Sudan. Three foreign teams came to the clinic to observe and ask patients about their problems.
Syrian Refugees in Jordan
*Akram is married with seven children. They are Syrian Muslims. One of the daughters is married to a Jordanian man and has a son. She just received her Jordanian citizenship. When they were back in Syria, they lived normally until the war started in 2014. Consequently, they were continuously placed in dangerous situations. For example, once the wife was doing laundry when she suddenly saw a bullet hit the window beside her. Luckily nothing happened to her. They also witnessed air bombings while they were trying to flee from the hostile circumstances.
We asked them if they were interested in returning to Syria, but they said it wasn’t possible because their two sons are of prime age to be in the army. Therefore, if they returned, they would be drafted. If they refused, they would have to pay an 8,000 dinar (about $11,300) fine for each son to replace their services. They do not plan on traveling or applying for immigration to another country because they have lived in Jordan for the past six years.
The father is currently suffering from diabetes and heart decease. He has undergone surgery to unblock one of his arteries. He is currently taking a lot of medications but can’t afford them. His medication can cost more than 100 dinars (about $140) a month. The pharmacy has been generous and gave him a fifty % discount, so he doesn’t have to pay the full amount. They were very thankful for the visit. We encouraged them and gave them their food boxes and some clothes before leaving.
GHNI Assistant Regional Field Leader
*For the purpose of safety and well-being, “Nono,” “Yazen,” “Sofia,” and “Akram” are pseudonyms for individuals being helped by this project.