This week marks the fifth anniversary of the beginning of the Syrian war. Five years of fighting, death, destruction. Heartbreaking stories, loss and questions. How much longer can this go on for? How is this going to end?
Five years of senseless violence have displaced almost half of the Syrian population: out of the 23 million Syrians (pre-war), over 6 millions are internally displaced, and almost 5 million fled the country.
The word “tragedy” doesn’t even begin to define what some describe as the biggest humanitarian crisis of our time. You can search the internet and read countless stories about the curtain of sadness that has been wrapping itself around Syria. But that’s not what I want to share with you.
As the world marks this dark anniversary, I want to bring you hope and beauty. Yes, amid the ugliness that is this civil war, something amazing happened.
A number of Syrian families have been resettled in a neighboring community near me. Moms, dads and children, who left their homes with nothing but a suitcase. After spending several years in transit, in camps that sometimes had little to no education for their children, they arrived in the United States…and a new life began. It had to, because who’s to say what the future holds for Syria?
How do you find the strength to start over again when you have lost everything? Left so many loved ones behind? Don’t speak the language? Don’t have anyone to turn to?
You look at your kids and you keep on going. For their sake, for their future, you knock obstacles down one by one and you move forward.
As parents ourselves, we feel their anxiety to do well by their kids, their eagerness to be able to look their children in the eye and say, “It’s okay, little guy, everything’s gonna be all right, Mom and Dad are here”. This is where beauty kicks in. We, parents in the community could feel, almost touch, the burning desire of these adults to give their children the best, to leave the war behind and pick up building their future where they left it. After all, isn’t it what we all want? A great future for our kids?
So we started working with the families, to give them support and together, crush as many hurdles as we could. But we never expected the surge of kindness and hard work that ensued. People from all backgrounds, and all faiths got together. Mosques, synagogues, churches, non believers, we all rolled up our sleeves and gave ourselves one mission: put these guys back on their feet. Their kids, like our kids, deserve the best shot possible at a bright future, and we owe it to them to lend a helping hand. Because we are all someone’s mom, dad or child.
Yes, the world can be a cruel place. But when we are able to unite, despite political ideologies or religious beliefs, there is hope that good will take over.
Do you have any stories where seemingly different people unite their efforts to move mountains?
This is an original post to World Moms Blog by Nadege Nicoll. She was born in France but now lives permanently in New Jersey with her family. Nadege also writes a daily blog for moms who need to smile at everyday life. She can be found on Twitter, Facebook and her website www.nadegenicoll.com.