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Celebrating Ramadan... and dreaming of home

Posted by Gez Russell Website Editor

2nd Aug 2013

Earlier this month, Syrian refugees in Jordan and Lebanon invited Oxfam's Karl Schembri into their temporary homes to see how they are celebrating Ramadan.

Around 1.8 million Syrians are now living either in refugee camps, temporary tented settlements or crowded rented accommodation. Ramadan is a time for reflection and, during this special month, many Muslims are longing for the homes they have had to leave behind.

You can read their stories in our Ramadan photogallery.


Many of the families Karl interviewed have tragic stories to tell. But even in these incredibly difficult conditions, hope, dignity, resilience come shining through:

"I could tell you that Ramadan here is nothing next to Ramadan back home," says Raed, a furniture maker now living in Zataari camp, Jordan. "But what matters most is that we're alive and safe. When things get better we'll return."


 I can't think of anything nicer for this Ramadan than to have my dad back.

And for Ashraf, 5 (pictured), living on the outskirts of Amman, this Ramadan is even one to remember. His father arrived the day before Ramadan started: "Although I miss my friends, most of whom went to Turkey and Lebanon, and we have nowhere to play here, I can't think of anything nicer for this Ramadan than to have my dad back."

You can read all the stories here, and there are more of Karl's photos on the Guardian website.

Help us do more

By the end of August, it is estimated there will be more than 2 million refugees who have fled violence in Syria. Oxfam has already helped more than 200,000 people. We have plans to reach up to 650,000, but we can't do it without your generous donations.



Donate to Oxfam's Syria Crisis Appeal

Blog post written by Gez Russell

Website Editor

More by Gez Russell