We hear about the stories of the hundreds upon hundreds of Syrians who are trapped in the conflict, and the hundreds more who have died trying to escape with their families. However, lesser known, are the stories of the few lucky Syrians who managed to escape the fighting and destruction and settle in new countries and start new lives.
These people were immediately faced with the daunting task of having to settle in a new, unfamiliar and often unaccepting place, where the surroundings were strange and the language unknown. Even the climate and weather were new to many who settled in places like Canada. Tasked with this mighty challenge, many Syrians have found it hard to adapt to a radically different lifestyle. However, there are many who are extended their support to these people. One of the most touching and emotional outcries has come from the veterans who fought in World War II. Many veterans have written letters of hope and support to the Syrians, which were translated into familiar languages. These letters addressed the issue of settling in a new country, and told the children reading them to stay hopeful. Above all, hope was the one thing to hold on to. These letters helped countless resettled Syrian children adapt to their new lives.
But Syrian people in new countries aren’t just receiving help: they’re giving it too. One of the most prominent examples is the Syrian community in Canada. During the recent wildfire that broke out at Fort McMurray, supplies and aid were hard to come by for the affected people. Amazingly, one of the most unexpected communities, the Syrian refugees, came to the aid of the people who had once shown them kindness. They gathered supplies, raised awareness, got others to donate and, in an amazing act of kindness and humanity, helped out those displaced by the all-consuming wildfire.
Closer to the region of conflict, in Lebanon, resettled refugees are determined to ensure their voices are heard. However, in a world of short attention spans and a fickle media, it is difficult to be more than just a face in the crowd. A group of former refugees called ‘The Caravan’ relives the old style of telling tales through drama and acting. They set up plays that showcase the journey they took and the situation that their brethren are stuck in currently. Through creativity and talent, they can provide a release for the Syrians and also help spread the message in a neighboring country.
In April, Ahmad al-Abboud, a resettled refugee, thanked the USA on camera for the kindness it had shown him by taking in his family. He said he was grateful for the unparalleled support and kindness he had received from the USA. To a family that has endured so much and been through such a great struggle, every small act of kindness is a divine blessing, and every new morning is filled with hope. Meanwhile, in Turkey, resettled refugees are finding new and innovative ways to repay their debt to the nation and people that took them in and treated them like brothers and sisters. Through a Qatar-based charity, Syrian refugees in Istanbul, Turkey, are helping to paint and renew houses of the city’s residents. This movement was started in Mersin, a city in the southern region that is home to millions of resettled refugees. These people, feeling indebted to Turkey and its people, felt obliged to repay her somehow. In addition to painting houses, they also repair broken tiles, fix pipes and electrical problems and help in other household issues. Ahmad Rajab, one such refugee, has expressed his gratitude to Turkey, and volunteered as part of the organization. By fostering these symbiotic relationships thousands of refugees are rebuilding themselves and renewing the societies they live in.