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

Turbulent Transition Imperils Tunisia’s Arab Spring Gains

Critics say new anti-terrorism laws worsen Tunisia's situation while others put faith in country’s vibrant civil organizations, women’s movement More

Burundi’s Political Crisis May Become Humanitarian One

United Nations aid agencies issue warning as deadly violence sends tens of thousands fleeing More

Yemenis Adjust to Life Under Houthi Rule

Locals want warring parties to strike deal to stop bloodletting before deciding how country is governed More

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.
Texas Town Residents Told to 'Just Leave' Ahead of Flood Threati
X
Greg Flakus
May 29, 2015 11:24 PM
Water from heavy rain in eastern and central Texas is now swelling rivers that flow into the Gulf of Mexico, threatening towns along their banks. VOA’s Greg Flakus visited the town of Wharton, southwest of Houston, where the Colorado River is close to cresting.
Video

Video Texas Town Residents Told to 'Just Leave' Ahead of Flood Threat

Water from heavy rain in eastern and central Texas is now swelling rivers that flow into the Gulf of Mexico, threatening towns along their banks. VOA’s Greg Flakus visited the town of Wharton, southwest of Houston, where the Colorado River is close to cresting.
Video

Video New York's One World Trade Center Observatory Opens to Public

From New Jersey to Long Island, from Northern suburbs to the Atlantic Ocean, with all of New York City in-between.  That view became available to the public Friday as the One World Trade Center Observatory opened in New York -- atop the replacement for the buildings destroyed in the September 11, 2001, attacks.  VOA’s Bernard Shusman reports.
Video

Video Seoul Sponsors Korean Unification Fair

With inter-Korean relations deteriorating over the North’s nuclear program, past military provocations and human rights abuses, many Koreans still hold out hope for eventual peaceful re-unification. VOA’s Brian Padden visited a “unification fair” held this week in Seoul, where border communities promoted the benefits of increased cooperation.
Video

Video Purple Door Coffeeshop: Changing Lives One Cup at a Time

For a quarter of his life, Kevin Persons lived on the street. Today, he is working behind the counter of an espresso bar, serving coffee and working to transition off the streets and into a home. Paul Vargas reports for VOA.
Video

Video Modular Robot Getting Closer to Reality

A robot being developed at Carnegie Mellon University has evolved into a multi-legged modular mechanical snake, able to move over rugged surfaces and explore the surroundings. Scientists say such machines could someday help in search and rescue operations. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Shanghai Hosts Big Consumer Electronics Show

Electronic gadgets are a huge success in China, judging by the first Asian Consumer Electronics Show, held this week in Shanghai. Over the course of two days, more than 20,000 visitors watched, tested and played with useful and some less-useful electronic devices exhibited by about 200 manufacturers. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Forced to Return Home, Afghan Refugees Face Increased Hardship

Undocumented refugees returning to Afghanistan from Pakistan have no jobs, no support system, and no home return to, and international aid agencies say they and the government are overwhelmed and under-resourced. Ayesha Tanzeem has more from Kabul.
Video

Video Britain Makes Controversial Move to Crack Down on Extremism

Britain is moving to tighten controls on extremist rhetoric, even when it does not incite violence or hatred -- a move that some are concerned might unduly restrict basic freedoms. It is an issue many countries are grappling with as extremist groups gain power in the Middle East, fueled in part by donations and fighters from the West. VOA’s Al Pessin reports from London.
Video

Video 3D Printer Makes Replica of Iconic Sports Car

Cars with parts made by 3D printers are already on the road, but engineers are still learning about this new technology. While testing the possibility of printing an entire car, researchers at the U.S. Department of Energy recently created an electric-powered replica of an iconic sports roadster. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Al-Shabab Recruitment Drive Still on In Kenya

The al-Shabab militants that have long battled for control of Somalia also have recruited thousands of young people in Kenya, leaving many families disconsolate. Mohammed Yusuf recently visited the Kenyan town of Isiolo, and met with relatives of those recruited, as well as a many who have helped with the recruiting.
Video

Video A Small Oasis on Kabul's Outskirts Provides Relief From Security Tensions

When people in Kabul want to get away from the city and relax, many choose Qargha Lake, a small resort on the outskirts of Kabul. Ayesha Tanzeem visited and talked with people about the precious oasis.
Video

Video Kenyans Lament Losing Sons to al-Shabab

There is agony, fear and lost hope in the Kenyan town of Isiolo, a key target of a new al-Shabab recruitment drive. VOA's Mohammed Yusuf visits Isiolo to speak with families and at least one man who says he was a recruiter.
Video

Video Scientists Say Plankton More Important Than Previously Thought

Tiny ocean creatures called plankton are mostly thought of as food for whales and other large marine animals, but a four-year global study discovered, among other things, that plankton are a major source of oxygen on our planet. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Kenya’s Capital Sees Rise in Shisha Parlors

In Kenya, the smoking of shisha, a type of flavored tobacco, is the latest craze. Patrons are flocking to shisha parlors to smoke and socialize. But the practice can be addictive and harmful, though many dabblers may not realize the dangers, according to a new review. Lenny Ruvaga has more on the story for VOA from Nairobi, Kenya.

VOA Blogs