News / Middle East

Displaced Syrians Despair Over Civil War

Displaced Syrians Despair Over Civil Wari
X
June 25, 2013 1:51 PM
As Syria's civil war grinds into its third deadly year, the number of people displaced inside Syria continues to grow. Many eventually arrive in camps near Syria's border with Turkey where they wait for months to cross the border into safety. In less than a year these camps have grown into small towns with a distinctive, though not necessarily pleasant, lifestyle. VOA's Scott Bobb reports from one such camp near the Turkish border.

Displaced Syrians Despair Over Civil War

Scott Bobb
As Syria's civil war grinds into its third deadly year, the number of people displaced inside Syria continues to grow. Many eventually arrive in camps near Syria's border with Turkey where they wait for months to cross the border into safety. In less than a year these camps have grown into small towns with a distinctive, though not necessarily pleasant, lifestyle.

Late morning at the Bab al-Salama camp in northern Syria. Life has become routine and tedious as residents wait for places in Turkey's refugee camps.

This camp has grown in 10 months from nothing into a small town with a population of nearly 15,000 people. But life is nowhere near normal for those living in tents without electricity or running water.

Thirteen year-old Mahmoud Assad arrived five months ago from Aleppo with his family. Life, he said, is hard.

“It's very hot here. We suffer from mosquito bites, flies. My brother was bitten by a snake,” he said.

Dire health conditions

Poor sanitation in such tight quarters poses a health risk. The camp's head doctor, Namir al-Nasser, fears an outbreak of cholera or typhoid among other problems.

“The nutrition is very bad here. No fruit. The meat, once every week they give them some food with meat. And no eggs. I don't see here any milk, only yogurt. But it's not sufficient for these people,” said al-Nasser.

He said the water is purified, but the residents suffer anyway from diarrhea, which he believes is due to the poor sanitation.

Residents receive one meal a day, down from three-a-day last year. Today's meal consists of bulgur wheat, a sauce and green peppers.

Scratching for survival

Some residents operate small shops. Satuf al-Hassan said he makes one or two dollars a day.

“We are dying here. The people have no money,” said Hassan.

Twenty-eight year-old Hussein Kojak came four months ago after Syrian forces killed his brother and bombed his village. He knows about the new weapons promised by Western and gulf Arab countries.

“I heard about the arms," said Kojak. "I just wish they had come before. But God willing they will make a difference. Soon.”

In the evening the children attend classes. Twenty-four-year-old Mohammed al-Atrash said he tries to teach his pupils a new mentality.

“More freedom, of course. This is the main idea, that they can talk [speak] whatever they want, whenever they want and wherever they want,” he said.

Nevertheless, there is a mood of despair. After months of waiting, the passage to Turkey into safety still does not come.

You May Like

Video Obama to Send 3,000 Troops to Liberia in Ebola Fight

update At Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, President says US will take leadership role for a global response to deadly Ebola virus that is ravaging West Africa More

Video China Muslims Work to Change Perceptions After Knife Attacks

Muslims in Kunming say that they condemn the violence, it is not a reflection of the true beliefs of their faith More

Humanitarian Aid, Equipment Blocked in Cameroon

Move is seen as a developing supply crisis in West Africa More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Enviropreneur Seeks to Save the Environment, Empower the Communityi
X
September 16, 2014 2:06 PM
Lorna Rutto, a former banker, is now an ‘enviropreneur’ - turning plastic waste into furniture and fences discusses the challenges she faces in Africa with raw materials and the environment.
Video

Video Enviropreneur Seeks to Save the Environment, Empower the Community

Lorna Rutto, a former banker, is now an ‘enviropreneur’ - turning plastic waste into furniture and fences discusses the challenges she faces in Africa with raw materials and the environment.
Video

Video West Trades Accusations Over Ransoms

As world leaders try to forge a common response to the threat posed by Islamic State militants in Iraq and Syria, there is simmering tension over differing policies on paying ransoms. In the past month, the jihadist group has beheaded two Americans and one Briton. Both countries refuse to pay ransom money. As Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London, there is uncertainty in the approach of some other European nations.
Video

Video Scotland Independence Bid Stokes Global Interest

The people of Scotland are preparing to vote on whether to become independent and break away from the rest of Britain, in a referendum being watched carefully in many other countries. Some see it as a risky experiment; while others hope a successful vote for independence might energize their own separatist demands. Foreign immigrants to Scotland have a front row seat for the vote. VOA’s Henry Ridgwell spoke to some of them in Edinburgh.
Video

Video Washington DC Mural Artists Help Beautify City

Like many cities, Washington has a graffiti problem. Buildings and homes, especially in low-income neighborhoods, are often targets of illegal artwork. But as we hear from VOA’s Julie Taboh, officials in the nation's capital have come up with an innovative program that uses the talents of local artists to beautify the city.
Video

Video US Muslim Leaders Condemn Islamic State

Leaders of America's Muslim community are condemning the violent extremism of the Islamic State group in Iraq and Syria. The U.S. Muslim leaders say militants are exploiting their faith in a failed effort to justify violent extremism. VOA correspondent Meredith Buel reports.
Video

Video Americans' Reaction Mixed on Obama Strategy for Islamic State Militants

President Barack Obama’s televised speech on how the United States plans to “degrade and destroy” the group known as the Islamic State reached a prime-time audience of millions. And it came as Americans appear more willing to embrace a bolder, tougher approach to foreign policy. VOA producer Katherine Gypson and reporter Jeff Seldin have this report from Washington.
Video

Video Authorities Allege LA Fashion Industry-Cartel Ties

U.S. officials say they have broken up crime rings that funneled tens of millions of dollars from Mexican drug cartels through fashion businesses in Los Angeles. Mike O'Sullivan reports that authorities announced nine arrests, as 1,000 law enforcement agents fanned out through the city on Wednesday.
Video

Video Bedouin Woman Runs Successful Business in Palestinian City

A Bedouin woman is breaking social taboos by running a successful vacation resort in the Palestinian town of Jericho. Bedouins are a sub-group of Arabs known for their semi-nomadic lifestyle. Zlatica Hoke says the resort in the West Bank's Jordan Valley is a model of success for women in the region.


Carnage and mayhem are part of daily life in northern Nigeria, the result of a terror campaign by the Islamist group Boko Haram. Fears are growing that Nigeria’s government may not know how to counter it, and may be making things worse. More

AppleAndroid