Syrians Living in Survivor Mode

A bread loaf, a cup of tea with sugar, a warm home and a piece of meat for dinner… these are all very normal and basic everyday habits for most of the world, but for a Syrian family they are words that bring out all the emotions which aches their hearts…

To wake up and have the first things in your mind to be “what are the hardships that I will encounter today, here we go again with a new battle to win a gas bottle or few liters of fuel” thinking about this with ice-cold feet in the midst of November and an almost empty fridge. This is everyday life for a Syrian.

Each home has a story, no genuine smiles appear on the faces of streets’ passers, children thinking excitedly about Holidays' gifts and dreaming of delicious meals and sweets, while their parents are thinking about where to get money to buy them their school uniform.

As much as people were happy that the shells and missiles stopped falling over their homes, they are now shocked and frustrated to discover a whole new war, a war to survive…survive the hunger, the cold, the unemployment, and many piled up struggles daily. To face yourself with the fact that this is the new reality of livelihood, the average income of 25$ monthly cannot buy you the winter jacket or shoes that you saw on the vitrine of that shop you passed by the other day… it has to be divided on food and generator fee so your family wouldn’t have to spend the nights without any lights.

College students are shocked by the prices of the books and requirements, to the extent that some are choosing other fields of study according to what is most affordable, not to what they love and truly want. Most college departments now require having a laptop, which most student can’t buy. 

All couples who are in love had their dreams crushed by the reality, having a house became a faraway dream, not to think about starting a family and having children which is now related to heavy burdens instead of enthusiasm and happy thoughts.

So where is the hope among all these struggles? 

Hope is in a family sharing their bread with the senior who lives in the upper floor, hope is in a child offering his coloring pencils with his friend who doesn’t have any. Hope is in the hands of a woman working on her sewing machine to help her husband with the income for their young ones, in the piece of wood that the carpenter is sculpting with his tools to deliver a door for a house that lost all its windows and doors by a deceitful shell. 

Our work in Hope Center is to cling-on to that very thin, almost non-existing thread of carrying on to help create a (not perfect, not ideal) but a slightly better life for people who have endured the worst anyone could ever think about for the last ten years, and were obliged to fight through every single day hundreds of difficulties. 

Maybe we can be the reason for many people to wake up in the morning, looking forward to start their work in their new project and say: well, today is a new day.