News / Middle East

    Syria's Internally Displaced On the Rise

    Elizabeth Arrott
    Hundreds of thousands of Syrians have fled their nation's civil war and their numbers keep growing. Many are in the camps of neighboring countries.
     
    But not all Syrians seeking safety are able – or willing – to leave the country.
     
    At a former clinic in Dummar, on the outskirts of Damascus, government volunteers help an influx of displaced arrived from Aleppo, many who have spent previous weeks camped out in the open.
     
    MAP: Deaths Across Syria, October 5, 2012.MAP: Deaths Across Syria, October 5, 2012.
    x
    MAP: Deaths Across Syria, October 5, 2012.
    MAP: Deaths Across Syria, October 5, 2012.
    With a government official assigned to monitor VOA's reporting, children are quick to chant slogans praising President Bashar al-Assad.
     
    Slogans aside, the overwhelming sense here is one of citizens caught in the middle.
     
    Syrians reeling
     
    Mohamed Turkemani, a worker from Aleppo, described how he was wounded in the cross-fire between government forces and rebels.
    Turkemani said military planes, having spotted groups of armed men in their area, sent down shells near his home. He said “Many, many people died.” He showed his battered leg, now pinned with metal screws.
    A young mother, displaced from Aleppo, cares for her newborn at a government center in Dummar, Syria. (E. Arrott/VOA)A young mother, displaced from Aleppo, cares for her newborn at a government center in Dummar, Syria. (E. Arrott/VOA)

    The government, whose military attacked his city, now provides him with medical care, along with the basics of food, clothing and shelter.
     
    Despite the battles raging in Aleppo and cities and towns across the country, some here are confident that the government has the situation under control.
     
    "I have a lot of friends from Australia [who ask] 'Why are you living here? Leave the country. What are you doing here?'" said Safi Ayoush, a shelter volunteer who is a Syrian Australian. "I say it is safe. I live here, even I got married in two months and I had my marriage here."
     
    Ayoush predicts President Assad will win the next election.
     
    Syrian nationalism
     
    But lead volunteer Nisrat Abboud stressed the need to reach out to the opposition and work for Syria, not for one man.
     
    ”This is my work," Abboud said. "When I be [a] volunteer, I be [a] volunteer to help all the Syrian people... You know we don't have a photo of the president on our T-shirt, just the map of Syria."
     
    Reconciliation may be far off, but change, say some, is not.
     
    Researcher Bessam Abu Abdullah, a member of the ruling Ba'ath party, runs a private political research center in the capital.
     
    "I think we will see another Syria," Abdullah said. "This regime, when they are saying this regime should collapse, this regime is finished."
     
    Abdullah's view is that it's not because the party is wrong, it's just the system is not sustainable.
     
    Back at the center for displaced in Dummar, a young mother cared for her baby, born outdoors, in a park, less than three weeks before.
     
    For the mother and child, change cannot come soon enough.
     
    - Japhet Weeks contributed to this report.

    You May Like

    Video Democrats Clinton, Kaine Offer 'Very Different Vision' Than Trump

    In a jab at Trump, Clinton says her team wants to 'build bridges, not walls'; Obama Hails Kaine's record; Trump calls Kaine a 'job-killer'

    Turkey Wants Pakistan to Close Down institutions, Businesses Linked to Gulen

    Thousands of Pakistani students are enrolled in Gulen's commercial network of around two dozen institutions operating in Pakistan for over two decades

    AU Passport A Work in Progress

    Who will get the passport and what the benefits are still need to be worked out

    This forum has been closed.
    Comment Sorting
    Comments
         
    by: musawi melake from: -
    October 09, 2012 6:33 AM
    Vast number of suicide bombers, like the ones of today, will emerge from the pool, and Mr. Husain Obama or his rival, if he wins, will be very very happy to have an arsenal of the kind. It may be become another dimension in military discipline and every state will peruse the path in the future. The pioneers of this wonder weapon will be remembered for their works. The White-House would have quickly condemned if such bombing happened inside Israel and Hamas was responsible. Since it's own proxies have done this, several times in recent months, US may be looking at the potentials of such a weapon.

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    In State of Emergency, Turkey’s Erdogan Focuses on Spiritual Movementi
    X
    July 22, 2016 11:49 AM
    The state of emergency that Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has declared is giving him even more power to expand a purge that has seen an estimated 60,000 people either arrested or suspended from their jobs. VOA Europe correspondent Luis Ramirez reports from Istanbul.
    Video

    Video In State of Emergency, Turkey’s Erdogan Focuses on Spiritual Movement

    The state of emergency that Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has declared is giving him even more power to expand a purge that has seen an estimated 60,000 people either arrested or suspended from their jobs. VOA Europe correspondent Luis Ramirez reports from Istanbul.
    Video

    Video Scientists in Poland Race to Save Honeybees

    Honeybees are in danger worldwide. Causes of what's known as colony collapse disorder range from pesticides and loss of habitat to infections. But scientists in Poland say they are on track to finding a cure for one of the diseases. VOA’s George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video Wall Already Runs Along Parts of US-Mexico Border

    The Republican Party’s presidential nominee, Donald Trump, gained the support of many voters by saying he would build a wall to keep undocumented immigrants and drugs from coming across the border from Mexico. Critics have called his idea impractical and offensive to Mexico, while supporters say such a bold approach is needed to control the border. VOA’s Greg Flakus has more from the border town of Nogales, Arizona.
    Video

    Video New HIV Tests Emphasize Rapid Results

    As the global fight against AIDS intensifies, activists have placed increasing importance on getting people to know their HIV status. Some companies are developing new HIV testing methods designed to be quick, easy and accurate. Thuso Khumalo looks at the latest methods, presented at the International AIDS conference in Durban, South Africa.
    Video

    Video African Youth with HIV Urge More Support

    HIV, the virus that causes AIDS, is the top killer of teens in sub-Saharan Africa. But many youths say their experience with the virus is unique and needs to be addressed differently than the adult epidemic. VOA South African Correspondent Anita Powell reports.
    Video

    Video Poor Residents in Cleveland Not Feeling High Hopes of Republican Convention

    With the Republican Party's National Convention underway in Cleveland, Ohio, delegates and visitors are gathered in the host city's downtown - waiting to hear from the party's presidential candidate, Donald Trump. But a few kilometers from the convention's venue, Cleveland's poorest residents are not convinced Trump or his policies will make a difference in their lives. VOA's Ramon Taylor spoke with some of these residents as well as some of the Republican delegates and filed this report.
    Video

    Video Pop-Up Art Comes to Your Living Room, Backyard and Elsewhere

    Around the world, independent artists and musicians wrestle with a common problem: where to exhibit or perform? Traditional spaces such as museums and galleries are reserved for bigger names, and renting a space is not feasible for many. Enter ArtsUp, which connects artists with venue owners. Whether it’s a living room, restaurant, office or even a boat, pop-up events are bringing music and art to unexpected places. Tina Trinh has more.
    Video

    Video With Yosemite as Backdrop, Obama Praises National Parks

    Last month, President Barack Obama and his family visited some of the most beautiful national parks in the U.S. Using the majestic backdrop of a towering waterfall in California's Yosemite National Park, Obama praised the national park system which celebrates its 100th anniversary this year. He talked about the importance of America’s “national treasures” and the need to protect them from climate change and other threats. VOA’s Julie Taboh reports.
    Video

    Video Counter-Islamic State Coalition Plots Next Steps

    As momentum shifts against Islamic State in Iraq, discussions are taking place about the next steps for driving the terrorist group from its final strongholds. Secretary of State John Kerry is hosting a counter-IS meeting at the State Department, a day after defense ministers from more than 30 countries reviewed and agreed upon a course of action. VOA Pentagon correspondent Carla Babb reports.
    Video

    Video Russia's Participation at Brazil Olympic Games Still In Question

    The International Olympic Committee has delayed a decision on whether to ban all Russian teams from competing in next month's Olympic Games in Brazil over allegations of an elaborate doping scheme. The World Anti-Doping Agency recently released an independent report alleging widespread doping by Russian athletes at the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi. So far, only Russian track and field athletes have been barred from the Summer Games in Brazil. VOA's Zlatica Hoke has more.
    Video

    Video Scotland’s Booming Whisky Industry Fears Brexit Hangover

    After Britain’s vote to leave the European Union, Scotland’s government wants to break away from the United Kingdom – fearing the nation’s exports are at risk. Among the biggest of these is whisky. Henry Ridgwell reports on a time of turmoil for those involved in the ancient art of distilling Scotland’s most famous product.
    Video

    Video Millennials Could Determine Who Wins Race to White House

    With only four months to go until Americans elect a new president, one group of voters is getting a lot more attention these days: those ages 18 to 35, a generation known as millennials. It’s a demographic that some analysts say could have the power to decide the 2016 election. But a lot depends on whether they actually turn out to vote. VOA’s Alexa Lamanna reports.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora