Dreams of my homeland
28 November 2017
“Our life used to be great. We had a two-bedroom house with balconies, a living room, and space for the children,” said Ramia. “It’s all gone now.”
Ramia didn’t want to leave Homs. “At the beginning of the crisis, we hid underground at every strike, but it became unbearable. I was seeing injured people and dead bodies on the streets. I could no longer risk the lives of my children.”
Ramia was five months pregnant with her son Younis (now three) when they fled to Lebanon. The family arrived with absolutely nothing, no clothes, no money, and with no place to go: “My husband’s friend told us about this settlement, so we came here. It was wintertime, very cold and rainy. We had never lived in a tent before. We didn’t know how to do it.”
"The first night in Lebanon was the worst night of my life; we literally slept in the mud. I tried to find plastic bags to put under the kids so they’d have a dry surface to lie on. I was scared. Although I knew it was safer to be in Lebanon, I felt like a homeless person sleeping out in the street.”
Ramia’s family borrowed vinyl sheeting from people in the settlement, and soon they received a shelter kit from Medair. Things got better with time, and Ramia ended up helping Medair as a health volunteer. She would gather the women in the settlement and promote health messages. “I’m very thankful for Medair and the opportunity that they provided me. I am no longer a health volunteer but I benefited a lot from the tips, knowledge, and health services. I still go to Medair’s health clinic with my children and encourage everyone to go there to receive health care and medicine.”
Ramia’s husband owned a blacksmith shop in Syria. Now finding a job is a daily struggle. “Our life has changed dramatically. It feels like we fell from heaven into hell. Who knew we would go through such hard times? We thought we would only have to leave our homes for a short while. It's now been several years. I gave birth to my daughter Nariman (now eight months old) here.”
“It’s hard for me to think of a better future for my children as long as they’re living here. I pray that the crisis ends soon so that my kids have a brighter future and can go back home. I would trade the house I once lived in for a tent if it meant we would be back in Syria, our homeland.”
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Medair’s work in Lebanon is funded by Global Affairs Canada (through World Relief Canada), EU Civil Protection and Humanitarian Aid, UN High Commissioner for Refugees, Swiss Solidarity, ERIKS Development Partner (SE), Lebanon Humanitarian Fund (UN-OCHA), and the generous support of individual donors.
This content was produced with resources gathered by Medair field and headquarters staff. The views expressed herein are those solely of Medair and should not be taken, in any way, to reflect the official opinion of any other organisation.