Ahmad Al Atrash does not like to be called a refugee. To him, a Syrian who fled a brutal civil war in his country, that word is loaded with negative connotations, and separates him from the community that has now become his home: Chicago. Six months ago, he and his family resettled there. I recently had the chance to discuss with him his thoughts on the crisis in Syria, his experiences at a refugee camp in Jordan, his journey to the United States, and his hopes for his family and children.
(Washington, DC) – The American Relief Coalition for Syria, a coalition of 13 humanitarian and development organizations that aid 5.7 million Syrians worldwide, in coordination with the Coalition for a Democratic Syria, a multi-ethnic and multi-sectarian coalition for a pluralistic and free Syria, organized a press conference in front of the Russian Embassy today in Washington, D.C.
During the press conference Lena Arkawi, ARCS spokesperson, stated:
The Syrian city of Aleppo has mostly fallen to regime forces, leaving opponents of the brutal rule of President Bashar al-Assad feeling hopeless after enduring days of bombardment with an almost complete lack of medical care.
Aid workers described horrific conditions — a lack of medicine and medical supplies, a lack of ambulances, and bodies buried under rubble.
The family is sitting around the dinner table, the tree is about to be decorated, and the U.S. is officially entering holiday season. Sadly, for Syrian refugees around the world, this season does not bring such excitment. The winter weather presents a special challenge to displaced refugees living in surrounding countries. Frigid winds, tumultuous rain, and precipitating snow hit the refugee camps in countries such as Lebanon and Jordan, increasing the chance of illness and death.
ARCS worked with its member organizations to provide relief to those affected by flooding in IDP camps.