Syria crisis

Syria crisis

Human interest stories

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Human interest stories

UNICEF Regional Goodwill Ambassador Mahmoud Kabil visited Domiz, Iraq, 6 August 2013 - refugee camp in northern Iraq
DomizIt’s always a bit heart-breaking meeting people who’ve been displaced by war. Looking back on my time as UNICEF’s Regional Goodwill Ambassador, I have vivid memories of missions to Yemen and Darfur that showed me graphically the price ordinary people – and children in particular – pay when conflict forces them to flee their homes.

Syrian children in Turkey build bridges to the future
OSMANIYE AND SARIÇAM CAMPS, Turkey, 2 August 2013 – “Expressing my opinions without pressure; living in freedom and safety.” This is how one Syrian child, displaced by war and living in a camp in Turkey, defined the rights of the child during an art class organized with the support of UNICEF Turkey.

Pau Gasol visits Syrian refugee children in Iraq
DOMIZ CAMP, Iraq, 30 July 2013 – Two-time NBA champion Lakers player and UNICEF Spain Ambassador since 2003 Pau Gasol has returned today from visiting Domiz, a refugee camp in Iraq that provides shelter to more than 45,000 Syrian refugees who have fled their country seeking safety from the deadly conflict. Upon arriving in Barcelona, he offered a press conference to share his experience in what was his fifth visit to the field as a UNICEF Spain Ambassador.

Za’atari tent number one, a year on
Za’atari, JORDAN, 29 July 2013 – When Omar* arrived with his wife and 8 children at Jordan’s Za’atari refugee camp they thought it would be for a few months. They are still there 12-months later.

Syrian field diary: Child witnesses to death and bloodshed
DAMASCUS, Syrian Arab Republic, 24 July 2013 – I first went to Syria last summer, with the United Nations Supervision Mission. As the fighting was spreading I travelled around, visited villages totally stripped of human life, walked into burnt down homes. In one stood a piano while children’s books were neatly organised in book cases, there was a computer in one corner and a beautiful chandelier hung from the ceiling surviving the fire miraculously.

One Ramadan night in Za’atari
Za’atari, JORDAN, 18 July 2013 – It was a long night, my first at the camp. With a few colleagues we wanted to know more about how Syrian families, and children in particular, are spending Ramadan, a time of family gatherings and reunions.

Hanadi’s story: Being young, female and a refugee
Za'atari, Jordan, 18 July 2013 – When the war came to their doorstep, 17-year old Hanadi and her family fled their home in Damascus. For one year they moved across Syria to escape the violence.

Charting the way forward for Syria’s water, sanitation and hygiene sector
AMMAN/DAMASCUS, 18 July 2013 – Finding ways to address Syria’s deepening water and sanitation crisis was at the centre of an unusual meeting of more than 150 experts, senior government officials, and representatives from United Nations agencies and non-governmental organizations in Damascus recently.

In Turkey, teachers learn how to work better with their Syrian refugee pupils
ISKENDERUN, Turkey, 11 July 2013 – In a large training room, an instructor asks a group of 200 people to hold a chickpea in their palms and to imagine that it is a tree.

In Domiz refugee camp, Iraq, a Syrian family makes the best of a terrible situation
DOMIZ CAMP, Iraq, 5 July 2013 – “In Syria,” Mahmoud said, his eyes watering with the memory, “we lived like kings and queens.” And then he fell silent.

Embracing the everyday, dreaming of the future
ZA’ATARI CAMP, Jordan, 3 July 2013 – As the sun rises upon the vast desert surrounding Za’atari camp, people wake to another intensely hot summer day. It is the second-largest refugee camp in the world, and for the 120,000 Syrians living here, it is a place to call home – at least for now.

How do you provide water and sanitation facilities to 50,000 people in the middle of Jordan’s desert?
Za'atari, Jordan, 15 July 2013-The UN estimates that 1 million Syrian refugees could be living in Jordan by the end of 2013. To help accommodate the huge numbers, a new refugee camp is being built.

The healing power of music, play and fruit trees
DAMASCUS, Syria, 27 June 2013 – A little boy scribbles something on a small piece of paper dewdrop before he meticulously glues it on a bright red apple-shaped paper.

Syrian children in Turkey get education despite language challenges
URFA, Turkey, June 2013 – It is 10 o’clock in the morning and the children waiting in the front yard of the Information and Education Center for Syrian Guests school in Urfa are getting restless. They’re hot, thirsty and impatient to see what their new classrooms are like.

With a rising refugee population, a camp at risk of disease
DOMIZ, Iraq, 22 May 2013 – The Domiz refugee camp, which sits about 60 kilometres from the Syrian border amidst an imposing mountain landscape, was originally built to accommodate 22,000 people. Today it is home to around 40,000 Syrian refugees.

Syrian children with disabilities resilient amid conflict
ZA’ATARI Refugee camp, Jordan - Rania (10) was born with a problem in her back that has kept her from walking.  But neither that nor her status as a Syrian refugee in Jordan’s biggest refugee camp Za’atari can stand in the way of her dream of becoming a teacher.

Syrian children with disabilities tell their stories of courage and resilience in Domiz Camp, Iraq
Sarbast lost the use of his legs after an illness when he was three, so when he and his family fled to Domiz refugee camp in northern Iraq in October last year, his father had to carry him over three kilometres to cross the border.

Children with disabilities among Syria’s most vulnerable
AMMAN, Jordan May, 2013 – When Abdulatif’s neighbor was killed, his own house destroyed and farm animals lost, the decision was made simple.  He had to flee the conflict in Syria to save his family.  But the journey and challenges that lied ahead was anything but easy, especially with two children with disabilities.

Syrian children in East Amman inch their way back to a normal life
AMMAN, 2 May 2013 - In the vibrant heart of East Amman, 80 kilometers away from the Syrian border and the fighting and violence beyond it, everyday life seems to continue as normal. Yet in an old building at the end of a small alley, hundreds of children from Syria are trying to cope with their painful memories, which despite the distance in time and space seem still fresh in their minds.

At a camp on the Syrian–Turkish border, talk of the past and present - and the future
BAB AL SALAMA, Syrian Arab Republic, 23 April 2013 – Last November, Bassam Guan, a 35-year-old father of four, left for work at a freezer plant in his hometown of Marea in the northern part of the Syrian Arab Republic. His family never saw him again.

For young Syrian refugees in Jordan, photography is a record - and an outlet
ZA’ATARI, Jordan, 18 April 2013 – At a water tank on the outskirts of Za’atari refugee camp, a couple of boys fill jerrycans with water. Crouching at their side with camera in hand is Amjad Belini. The 17-year-old is one of a group of boys and girls taking part in a three-month photography project managed by Save the Children in partnership with UNICEF.

A place of sanctuary for children of Homs, Syrian Arab Republic
HOMS, Syrian Arab Republic, 3 April 2013 – I did not quite know what to expect when I accompanied a UNICEF team driving through the streets of Homs.

Children's lives on hold, in the Syrian Arab Republic
TARTOUS, Syrian Arab Republic, 2 April 2013 – “My 4-year-old sister couldn’t talk for a while after she witnessed our neighbourhood under attack,” says Siham

Children's health suffering, medical care insufficient, at camp sheltering Syrians
BAB AL SALAMA, Syrian Arab Republic, 28 March 2013 – In Bab al Salama camp, Khola Bakkor sits quietly in the tent her family have sheltered in for seven long months.

Children find a safe space to learn in conflict-torn Homs, Syrian Arab Republic
HOMS, Syrian Arab Republic, 26 March 2013 – Homs has suffered some of the heaviest and most relentless fighting in the Syrian conflict. Many neighbourhoods have been damaged or destroyed, leaving at least 600,000 of the city’s 2.1 million residents in need of humanitarian assistance, according to the Syrian Arab Red Crescent and the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA).

In makeshift settlements in Lebanon, UNICEF delivers essential supplies to Syrian refugee children
BEIRUT, Lebanon, 25 March 2013 – Children run barefoot across the sharp rocks, broken glass and dirt, as we offload boxes of donated new shoes in the bitter wind.

In Jordan, a thirteen-year-old Syrian refugee talks about how his thoughts have never left home
ZA’ATARI, Jordan, 15 March 2013 – Bashir and his family fled their home in Deraa, southern Syrian Arab Republic, seven months ago. But, ever since that day, when the shelling became too intense to stay, the 13-year-old’s thoughts have never left his hometown.

Burned in an attack and now in exile in Lebanon, Adnan is one of the children at the heart of the Syrian crisis
AKKAR region, Lebanon, 13 March 2013 – When their home in Hama, western Syrian Arab Republic, was hit by a rocket, Adnan’s parents could not manage to take their son out in time. “He did not stay that long in the fire. Not more than two minutes. But the fire was very harsh on him,” his father recalls.

In Jordan, Syrian refugee children learn how to recover from a violent past
MAFRAQ, Jordan, 7 November 2012 - When Syrian refugee children show UNICEF child protection worker Jane MacPhail pictures they have drawn of revenge and violence, she knows what to say.

At Za'atari refugee camp in Jordan, UNICEF supports Syrian refugee families
AMMAN, Jordan, 7 November 2012 - As the canvas roof of her family’s tent flaps in the wind, Fatma* holds her son close, gently brushing dust from his face.

In Lebanon, UNICEF and partners race to provide clean drinking water and prevent disease
BEKAA VALLEY, Lebanon, 23 October 2012 – The large chalkboard is a reminder that the crowded shelter housing Zaineb, her family and more than a hundred other Syrian refugees is actually a school.

In Lebanon, Palestinian refugees fleeing conflict in the Syrian Arab Republic face new challenges
BEIRUT, Lebanon, 16 October 2012 - Ten-year-old Ahmed* and his family have come to Lebanon from a Palestinian refugee camp in the Syrian Arab Republic. They fled their camp near Damascus when fighting intensified. One day, Ahmed’s 12-year-old sister Mona had stumbled across a bloody corpse close to their home.

Amidst talk of relocation, internally displaced children express themselves through recreational activities
DAMASCUS, Syrian Arab Republic, 5 September 2012 - “Where we will be taken?” “Where are they going to put us?” “What will happen to us?”

UNICEF Regional Goodwill Ambassador Mahmoud Kabil visited Domiz refugee camp in northern Iraq

Syrian children in Turkey build bridges to the future

Za’atari tent number one, a year on

Syrian field diary: Child witnesses to death and bloodshed

Hanadi’s story: Being young, female and a refugee

One Ramadan night in Za’atari

Charting the way forward for Syria’s water, sanitation and hygiene sector

How do you provide water and sanitation facilities to 50,000 people in the middle of Jordan’s desert?

The healing power of music, play and fruit trees



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