A refugee remembers Syria

By |30 October 2013|

The nostalgia for what Syria was – and the effort to convey that longing to others – seems to be for so many refugees the last grip on a normal life, to keep themselves from losing their minds.

Caritas Syria aiding Christian families from Maaloula

By |26 September 2013|

Since the current unrest began, Syria has been threatened by armed rebels within the country and, for the last month, has suffered the interminable nightmare of the threat of a possible military attack from without.

Peace talks only option to Syria crisis

By |25 September 2013|

Caritas Internationalis says that the ongoing civil war in Syria can only be resolved through inclusive peace talks.

Syrian refugees in Lebanon pray for peace

By |12 September 2013|

Following Pope Francis’s appeal for a world day of prayer and fasting for peace in Syria and the Middle East on the 7 September 2013, Caritas Lebanon celebrated mass with Syrian families sheltering in the Saint Gabriel monastery in Ajaltoun (Kesrouan).

“Is this really the world that I desire?”

By |9 September 2013|

Syria vigil and fast By Michelle Hough, communications officer with Caritas Internationalis The first time I ever heard of Damascus was in the story of the conversion of Saint Paul. It’s a story that speaks of the possibility of change and forgiveness; where dark hearts are flooded with light and those who persecute can go on to do good. I was in St Peter’s Square on Saturday night along with around 100,000 people, leaders of other faiths, prelates, Caritas colleagues (thanks to Alfonso for saving me a seat!), Italian politicians and of course Pope Francis to pray for such a change of heart regarding Syria. As dusk descended over Saint Peter’s Square, Pope Francis said, “God’s world is a world where everyone feels responsible for the other, for the good of the other. This evening, in reflection, fasting and prayer, each of us deep down should ask ourselves: Is this really the [...]
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    Why I’ll be praying and fasting on Saturday for peace in Syria

Why I’ll be praying and fasting on Saturday for peace in Syria

By |5 September 2013|

In June, I visited Lebanon to see the work of Caritas with Syrian refugees. We went up to the Bekaa Valley, which runs along the border with Syria. It’s a wide, green valley, dotted with towns and farms. It’s a beautiful place, even now.

Trafficked from Sri Lanka to Jordan as a maid

By |27 August 2013|

Some Sri Lankan people here like my baby. I have been offered 500 Jordanian dinars for her.

Caritas director in Egypt says aid is key

By |22 August 2013|

Caritas Egypt Director Fr. Nabil Gabriel sj called on European Union to bare in mind the impact of aid cuts on the poor as they discussed stopping or reducing their support to Egypt. He said the EU should increase its funding so the Egypt could be constructed on a sound basis.

A spark of hope for Syrian mothers in Jordan

By |13 August 2013|

By Dana Shahin, Caritas Jordan Hanan Yousef Abdel-Razaq lost her home and a four-year old daughter during an attack on Dara’a in Syria in January. She fled to Jordan with her two remaining children, sons aged five and three. Hanan is one of the over half a million Syrian refugees now living in Jordan because it’s too dangerous to remain in Syria where a bloody civil war is raging into its third year. The refugees come with nothing, and need food, shelter, education and healthcare. One in eight Syrian refugees in Jordan are women or children. “I heard about Caritas first from my sister,” said Hanan. “When I came here to register, they asked me about my family and I said I had two children. They immediately offered me services for me and for my children.” Caritas Jordan has register 130,000 Syrian refugees to receive its aid. They will receive food vouchers, help with accommodation, [...]

Mission to Gaza

By |24 July 2013|

There are 1.7 million Palestinians living in Gaza, a thin strip of land along the Mediterranean, 41 km long and between 6 to 12 km wide. They have been blockaded by Israel since June 2007. A fifth live below the poverty line, according to the Palestinian Central Bureau of Statistics (PCBS).

Syrian crisis: Our hardest task

By |5 July 2013|

Caritas Lebanon has helped around 90,000 Syrian refugees so far. But it is just part of the regional story. In Syria, Jordan and Turkey, Caritas is working to help those in terrible need.

Healthcare for Syrian refugees in Lebanon

By |4 July 2013|

By Patrick Nicholson “There were bodies everywhere,” said Ali. “We had two choices if we wanted to live: Turkey or Lebanon. We came to Lebanon because I thought I would find work.” Ali (49), Aaicha (34) and their five children came to Lebanon 18 months ago from Idlib in north-western Syria. The deciding factor was when the next door house was hit by a rocket, killing 18 people. Life in Syria had gotten progressively worse for them since the start of the conflict in early 2011. There was no electricity or running water.  Inflation was rampant. What cost 15 Syrian pounds before the war, now cost 150 Syrian pounds. “You had to stand in line for three hours just to buy bread,” said Ali. And then there were the bombs, rockets and air attacks. When they first arrived in Lebanon, the family lived in a small tent. Now they rent a room in Mount [...]

Give me shelter: Syrian refugees in Lebanon

By |3 July 2013|

By Patrick Nicholson Since the start of the conflict in 2011 in Syria, over 1.7 million people have fled to neighbouring countries. Lebanon has received the largest number of refugees in the region. Although there are half a million Syrian refugees registered in Lebanon, the true number is estimated to be beyond 1 million. Every day, Caritas staff meets hundreds of new arrivals from Syria, each with their own account of the horrors they've seen. Sometimes it can be overwhelming.  “When I hear all their stories, it feels like my head will explode,” said Mireille, a Caritas social worker in Beirut. Suitable accommodation has long since run out in the small country, and the refugees must find anywhere they can for shelter. Caritas Lebanon is providing aid and care to the Syrian refugees wherever they might be. Khatar Khatar (42) lives with her six children in a cowshed on a farm in the Bekaa [...]

Who will save my beloved Syria?

By |21 June 2013|

One evening while the electricity was down, I took a walk in the popular area of ​​Tabbalé in Damascus. In the small dark streets, people passed each other by, their flashlights in hand. It’s a popular area, where Christians, the poor from every region and people from rural areas mix.

Syrian refugees suffering depression and stress

By |18 June 2013|

Syrian refugees fleeing to Lebanon, Jordan and Turkey have lost their homes, their belongings and their jobs or schools. They’ve witnessed war at home and faced a perilous journey to escape. (Caritas emergency appeal on Syria) Now, as refugees, they live in tents, makeshift apartments or in tiny rooms. In Lebanon, eight of ten need food, seven out of ten need shelter and three-quarters of the children have no access to education. While much of their suffering is visible, many are also dealing with the trauma of their recent experiences. The refugees are also worried about loved ones still in Syria or transfixed by the stream of terrible news as their country is torn apart. Depression, anxiety, insomnia, neurosis and stress are common. In a Caritas survey of 950 Syrian men and women refugees aged between 18 and 60 in Jordan, one in five people were in need of some form psychological [...]

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