News / Middle East

Syria's Disabled Refugees Lead a Hard Life in Jordan

Syrians with Mental, Physical Disabilities Face Greater Challenges as Refugeesi
X
June 07, 2013 2:19 PM
The trial and tribulations of Syrian refugees are bad enough.But for the mentally and physically challenged the ordeal can be overwhelming. VOA's Elizabeth Arrott was recently in Jordan's Zaatari refugee camp and has this report.
Elizabeth Arrott
The trials and tribulations of Syrian refugees are bad enough. But for the mentally and physically challenged, the ordeal can be overwhelming.
 
Every refugee has a story. For Osama, a 17-year-old from southern Syria, his began when his family tried to flee his government-besieged town.
 
He related how in the early dawn hours, tanks stormed the local square and immediately started shooting and never stopped.
 
They made their harrowing trip across the border unharmed, an escape made more difficult by the special needs of several family members.
 
Now housed in a trailer at the Zaatari Refugee Camp in northern Jordan, Osama noted that his sister has Downs Syndrome, his aunt is mute and his uncle cannot walk. His aging grandmother helps take care of them.
 
They have found food and shelter in Jordan but, now, they're desperate for a wheelchair.

Osama explained that his uncle can’t even go to the bathroom by himself.

The demands are known all too well. Andrew Harper is the United Nations refugee agency representative in Jordan.
 
He said, “It's an issue of not only addressing the needs of the hundreds of thousands of people that come across the border seeking protection inside Jordan. It's also looking at the extremely vulnerable population that we have got in the camp.”
 
Syrian Refugees by Country

Lebanon: 511,418
Jordan: 472,631
Turkey: 376,640
Iraq: 155,139
Egypt: 77,169

Source: UNHCR
Neighboring countries have been generous with contributions, but distribution remains a problem. A wheelchair is spied in another part of the camp, but it's being used by a little boy as a make-shift cart.
 
There is also widespread theft with donated goods showing up in the black markets at the camp.
 
Colonel Zaher Abu Shehab, Zaatari's director, said,  “This camp now is the fifth largest city in Jordan, and we are facing, like any other society, criminal acts.”
 
Jordanian guards who police the camp confided that it is worse than that. Some are scared to venture in areas alone.
 
Osama's family feels relatively safe in their trailer, which offers more protection than the tents.
 
But as grateful as they are, Osama's grandmother finds life here overwhelming and wants to return to Syria. She said it's her homeland and if she could go back tomorrow she would.

You May Like

Video Is West Doing Enough to Tackle Islamic State?

There is growing uncertainty over whether West’s response to ISIS is adequate More

China Crackdown on Dual Citizens Causes Concern

New policy encourages reporting people who obtain citizenship in another country, but retain Chinese citizenship; move spurs sharp debate More

Video Coalition to Fight Islamic State Could Reward Assad

Losing ground to Islamic State fighters, Syria's government says it is ready to cooperate with international community 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.
Is West Doing Enough to Tackle Islamic State?i
X
Henry Ridgwell
August 29, 2014 12:26 AM
U.S. President Barack Obama has ruled out sending ground troops to Iraq to fight militants of the so-called Islamic State, or ISIS, despite officials in Washington describing the extremist group as the biggest threat the United States has faced in years. Henry Ridgwell reports from London on the growing uncertainty over whether the West’s response to ISIS will be enough to defeat the terrorist threat.
Video

Video Is West Doing Enough to Tackle Islamic State?

U.S. President Barack Obama has ruled out sending ground troops to Iraq to fight militants of the so-called Islamic State, or ISIS, despite officials in Washington describing the extremist group as the biggest threat the United States has faced in years. Henry Ridgwell reports from London on the growing uncertainty over whether the West’s response to ISIS will be enough to defeat the terrorist threat.
Video

Video Pachyderms Play Polo to Raise Money for Elephants

Polo, the ancient team competition typically played on horseback, is known as the “sport of kings.” However, the royal version for one annual event in Thailand swaps the horse for the kingdom’s national symbol - the elephant. VOA Correspondent Steve Herman in Samut Prakan reports that the King’s Cup Elephant Polo tournament is all for a good cause.
Video

Video Coalition to Fight Islamic State Could Reward Assad

The United States along with European and Mideast allies are considering a broader assault against Islamic State fighters who have spread from Syria into Iraq and risk further destabilizing an already troubled region. But as VOA State Department Correspondent Scott Stearns reports, confronting those militants could end up helping the embattled Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.
Video

Video Made in America Socks Get Toehold in Online Fashion Market

Three young entrepreneurs are hoping to revolutionize the high-end sock industry by introducing all-American creations of their own. And they’re doing most of it the old-fashioned way. VOA’s Julie Taboh recently caught up with them to learn what goes into making their one-of-a-kind socks.
Video

Video Americans, Ex-Pats Send Relief Supplies to West Africa

Health organizations from around the world are sending supplies and specialists to the West African countries that are dealing with the worst Ebola outbreak in history. On a smaller scale, ordinary Americans and African expatriates living in the United States are doing the same. VOA's Carol Pearson reports.
Video

Video America's Most Popular Artworks Displayed in Public Places

Public places in cities across America were turned into open-air art galleries in August. Pictures of the nation’s most popular artworks were displayed on billboards, bus shelters, subway platforms and more. The idea behind “Art Everywhere,” a collaborative campaign by five major museums is to allow more people to enjoy art and learn about the country’s culture and history. Faiza Elmasry has more.
Video

Video Chinese Doctors Use 3-D Spinal Implant

A Chinese boy suffering from a debilitating bone disease has become the first patient with a part of his spine created in a three-dimensional printer. Doctors say he will soon regain normal mobility. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Uneasy Calm Settles Over Israel, Gaza Strip

Israel and the Gaza Strip have been calm since a cease-fire set in Tuesday evening, ending seven weeks of hostilities. Hamas, which controls Gaza, declared victory. Israelis were more wart. VOA’s Scott Bobb reports from Jerusalem.
Video

Video India’s Leprosy Battle Stymied by Continuing Stigma

Medical advancements in the treatment of leprosy have greatly diminished its impact around the world, largely eliminating the disease from most countries. India made great strides in combating leprosy, but still accounts for a majority of the world’s new cases each year, and the number of newly infected Indians is rising - more than 130,000 recorded last year. Doctors there say the problem has more to do with society than science. Shaikh Azizur Rahman reports from Kolkata.
Video

Video Scientists Unlock Mystery of Bird Flocks

How can flocks of birds, schools of fish or herds of antelope suddenly change direction -- all the individuals adjusting their movement in concert, at seemingly the same time? British researchers now have some insights into this behavior, which has puzzled scientists for a long time. VOA's George Putic has more.

AppleAndroid