Why you do that?! Are you obliged to put yourself in risk for other’s lives?! That’s insane “Mouaaz”, and you’re not responsible!! You should focus on your university instead!! It’s something I used to hear from people around me, from friends and sometimes even from my parents!
The Syrian Conflict had put more than 1 million innocents out of their homeland and out of their houses! About 170,000 persons have fled the war there heading to Lebanon, as it’s the nearest country to them, culturally and geographically.
As a Human Rights Activist, and a defender of oppressed people, I decided with some active Lebanese and Syrian youth here in Lebanon to help those innocents as the most of them are women and children, helping them sometimes finding shelters, distributing some food, blankets for the heavy winter, essential stuff for living, toys for the cold kids, and the most… easing their pain.
I visited once a Syrian refugee family which I’ve been told that, this family is living in a ONE ROOM APARTMENT!! On that day I went with one of my Syrian/Kurds friends named “Ziad Sheikhu” who works also with me in the Human Rights field. The family consists of the Father, the Mother and 4 young girls, the oldest is at the 9th class (I think 14 years old) and a young boy named Mamdouh (12 years old) and their grandmother. You wont believe how our meeting went, it went exactly like movies I swear to god, this family lives with two other families one of them consists of a husband and his wife only and the second consists of a husband and his wife and a young child, these three families live in one apartment and they do pay $300 for the apartment per month. The problem is that they divide the amount like $150 for the first family (big one) and the rest $150 (for the two other families.) Our family that we were visiting, no one works at the mean time and they are not paying the fees, as they can’t afford $150 but the young child/man Mamdouh who works, trying to cover the fees and expanses of the house and the girls are without school, but hopefully we are working on letting them get to that ASAP. The father originally works in painting houses, that was his profession in Syria, before leaving, but here in Lebanon he does not have a stable job, it’s something normal in this small country with its limited capabilities.
What I want to say, that I swear by the name of god, I couldn’t endure seeing the young girls how they were circling us and looking at us with their colorful, beautiful, and tearful eyes as if we are the ones who will ease their sufferings and the ones who will take the pain away of them, as if we are been sent by god himself and as if we are the angels who came from the heavens to ease the suffering of oppressed people. They circled me and “Ziad” touching us with their cold and small fingers, they wanted to convince us that they need us, they need our help. The father didn’t say any word I swear, not a word!! Every time I ask him about their needs, he says nothing but the blessings of god. He needs nothing from this tough life, ASSad has taught him that this life means nothing without freedom!! ASSad was a good teacher though!! The mother was showing us and trying to convince us how the apartment does not worth $350, how 13 members are living day and night in one room and for 1 toilet. The grandmother, was cursing Bashar Al-ASSad, “may god take him to hell, he killed us, tortured us, raped our girls and raped our land”. ASSad thugs slaughtered her old son few weeks before they have moved to Lebanon he was just an armless protestor, calling for Freedom, exactly like the rest in the broken Syria, she cried!!” Ziad” couldn’t stand, he went out, I don’t blame him, It was really cold inside, few so-called blankets for the young children, I would not use any for myself, it’s warm enough staying cold than using such piece of cloth!
When we first visited the family the boy wasn’t there, he works in a carpenter’s shop! His sisters told him later that two persons came to the house and they will help us to pay the fees of the house!! I did visit them again, I went alone, I brought them $200 as a donation from a British wonderful mother named “Emma Hargrove” whom I was introduced to by a Philippini strong man named “Sharhabil Alawi” who lives in Saudi Arabia. I delivered the money in addition to some fruits and food… and that’s it!! A $200 was enough to make the small lips smile! Wow! That’s what I concluded that day, I believe we can do more!
Mouaaz Al Ajami