Syria Crisis: Meet Alaa - mum, wife, teacher, refugee.

Posted by Suzanne Rodrigues Editorial Assistant in Oxfam's Digital Communications Team

24th Apr 2013


Earlier today, I got a sneak peek at the new edition of Inside Oxfam, the quarterly magazine we send out to our supporters. Of course, Syria features heavily in this one and I wanted to write about one of the articles I read.  It's about a woman called Alaa. The term 'refugee' can get in the way sometimes, and stop us thinking about the person behind the word. It can make it harder for us to relate to the person.  But Alaa isn't just a refugee. She's a teacher. She's a wife. She's a mum. This is what I read in Inside Oxfam. 

Before the conflict escalated in Syria, Alaa Hassan was an English teacher in Damascus. Her husband Mohammed was studying to become a pharmacy assistant. Together, they had created a good home for their children - 18-month-old Farah and baby Karam. But, like many of their neighbours, they were forced to cross the border into Lebanon to escape the violence in Syria. 

Today, although their future is uncertain as refugees, Alaa and Mohammed are relieved to have escaped the violence. Alaa explains: "It's so dangerous back there. My cousin was killed in the fighting. People were crazy. If you went outside, or stayed close to a window, you could get killed. The day we left, the fighting had been going for 14 hours. We left in the early hours of the morning."

More than 1 million people are living as refugees in countries neighbouring Syria and they are in urgent need of food, water and shelter. 

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Blog post written by Suzanne Rodrigues

Editorial Assistant in Oxfam's Digital Communications Team

More by Suzanne Rodrigues