It doesn’t help that the security situation is also volatile. Most of the people in the camps have fled their homes several times and they have that fear in their stomach that they will have to flee again. I cannot describe how exhausting this feeling is. I myself have been displaced four times.
I graduated in economics at Aleppo University in 2011 and I was looking forward to going to the UK to study an MA the following year. However, my dreams were curtailed as I was caught up in an attack on the way to the airport in the suburbs of Damascus.
The conflict escalated and the whole district came under siege and was bombarded by explosive barrels. For 18 months we lived in the shadow of death, surviving on the scraps of food we could find in the streets or the leaves on the trees. I finally made it back to Aleppo where I started working for Islamic Relief, and I have been displaced several times since, most recently last year to a small village near the border with Turkey.
Several times I have thought of moving to Turkey for a safer life, but each time I think that if I do, who will help these people left behind? I return to the safety of my house and I see my children happy, warm and well-fed. And I thank God.
But it breaks my heart knowing that so many parents cannot give this to their children. I think of women like Oum Yousuf and her young boy who I met today. He never met and will never know his father and that’s what drives me on.
Tomorrow, I will be out there again but I hope that it doesn’t always have to be like this; and a brighter future awaits for the Syrian people who have suffered too much.