Skip To Content

Syria: Ordinary people doing extraordinary things

By Georgina Sword-Daniels, Project Officer, Save the Children in the Middle East

A father and son sit outside their tent in a camp for displaced people in northern Syria this December. Thousands of families have been bracing themselves across the region for the current winter storm and making what preparations they can with limited resources.
A father and son sit outside their tent in a camp for displaced people in northern Syria.

When many of us think of Syria we conjure images of war and death, of countless human atrocities and destruction and of political impasse.

We stare bleakly in the face of a conflict that has challenged our understanding of war and of humanity and which seems to stretch out before us unchecked, incomprehensible and without end.

In the face of this incalculable humanitarian crisis which has now left 12.2 million people in need it is tempting to throw up our hands. What can you or I do to solve the unsolvable crisis?

As this year begins nearly four million refugees are facing a stark winter away from their homeland, dealing with the loss of their home and loved ones and living in inadequate shelter in freezing conditions.

Inside Syria millions more are facing another winter of war in destroyed shelters, struggling to put food on the table and not knowing what the future will bring.

Hope shining through

Behind the headlines of the conflict it’s not hard to find the story of the real Syrian people and of everyday acts of heroism and humanity that shine through this crisis.

For every story of loss there is the story of the doctor, teacher or volunteer who continues to provide care and hope to their community.

Millions of Syrians inside and outside their country are finding ingenious ways to carry on and adapt in the face of dwindling resources and uncertain conditions.

Children stepping up

Children too are taking on an extraordinary responsibility to help their families. Like 14 year-old Adil who now lives with his five siblings in Jordan.

After their father was badly injured in the war the family fled and now look after him at their apartment where he is unable to move from his bed.

The oldest son, 19 year-old Tayyeb, takes care of him as he is strong enough to move and carry him, whilst Adil and his other two brothers work at local coffee shops to supplement the family income.

Strikingly mature and modest about the situation he finds himself in, Adil says: “I like to go to work to earn money to support my family… I have to support my family because there is no one else to support us to bring the medicine for my father”.

Fighting the odds

Despite the continuing destruction in Syria and appalling hardship faced by its citizens, ordinary people are doing extraordinary things to try to build back a semblance of daily life, despite the odds.

Let us continue to show them that they are not forgotten and that there is hope for Syria’s future.

Share this article