A Refugee’s Life

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Life is not easy for so many people whose fate has betrayed them, twisted and taken 360 turn into misery, hopelessness, direness, desolation and a gloomy future. Everyone in this lifetime is prone to become refugee-it’s all about what is written for you in the book of life. In brief, this person could have led at one time a secure, healthy happy and dignified life for him/herself and their family. However, for some sort of horrific reasons, war, sectarian violence or brethren hatred all can strip someone of this sheltered life into the prongs of fear, harshness and bleakness.

When you directly work with these vulnerable people, it will take its toll on you, your sanity, and it can physically exhaust you. Listening to these stories, witnessing what they have gone through, the sad, ruthless journey they took, a life left behind to start a new one. It all can drain the energy out of your body. When you are involved directly with these people, it starts hitting you: the ruthless reality of the whole thing.

I want to mention a true person, someone who came many miles away from her home to come to my country-Jordan where we host an estimated 750,000 Iraqi refugees. Sasha Crow’s dedication, will, and perseverance to help these families and live amongst them has brought a new meaning to the word HELP. Every day someone knocks on her door because they heard she provides assistance. It is not easy to help everyone with high demands and a small budget.  This is only one of many stories the Collateral Repair Project in Jordan encounters and their work is supported solely from individual donations. CRP, a grassroots movement, was created to address the catastrophic displacement of the five million Iraqis who had to leave behind their homes and communities because of the violence and instability that is the result of the invasion and occupation of their country. From its Amman-based office, its main target is the Iraqi refugees in Jordan.

One of the issues Collateral Repair Project deals with is Iraqi children suffering from a medical condition called Thalassemia.  Thalassemia is an inherited blood disease- a genetic disorder that involves the decreased and defective production of hemoglobin; a molecule found inside all red blood cells (RBCs) that transports oxygen throughout the body. In the past 20 years, new therapies have greatly improved the quality of life and life expectancy in kids who have these diseases.

UNHCR no longer funds Thalassemia treatment for Iraqi kids. We can pour billions into wars but cannot provide medical treatment to keep children alive. A crime.  Thalassemia treatment has been eliminated because the cost is so atrociously high and funds for aid for Iraqi refugees has plummeted. Cutbacks across the board have been made in services and support and we can anticipate more cuts next year. The Iraq war is old news and its’ victims have never been much of a concern to most. The life of a refugee-especially in country that only perceives them as “Guests”- is distressing, filled with misery and sadness, and these are the least likely to be able to file case at the UN and to ask for help.
Hope is what they want and waiting is what they do…


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