Daily Life As a Refugee in the Middle East

Many Syrians fled their homes believing they'd be able to return within a few months, once the fighting stopped. Now, five years later or more, individuals and families displaced from their homes simply wait.

Some wait for the immediate assistance they need to live day to day in refugee camps, for basic materials like tarps for shelter and pots and pans for cooking. Others wait to move to more secure living conditions, where they will be farther away from danger, and better protected from harsh weather conditions. And yet others wait for the proper paperwork to come through so they can move to a country that will allow them to begin a new life, in which they might have increased opportunities for work and education.

As they wait, refugees needs are great. Many have experienced deep trauma and loss or even physical harm from which they must now recover. School is not available to most refugee children, so parents look for alternative means to provide their children with safe spaces for learning and growth. And, having potentially lost ties with friends and family when they left home, refugees long for community with others, and a sense of place and belonging, even as they are far from home.

Ultimately, many refugees wait for one thing—the opportunity to return home. It is uncertain whether this opportunity will ever avail itself. Until then, refugees wait and hope.