I can recount how many times we’ve heard of violence in the Middle East in the 21st century and even more so in the past two years. Violence, which has increased over the past two years in MENA in conjunction with the “Arab Spring”, has left several countries in a state of instability. I recall my trip to Egypt a few months back and the hostility, impatience and unfriendly personalities I encountered far different from the people I’d known a few years prior. I can recall a conversation I’ve had with an American Jordanian friend who found those same characteristics in the Jordanian people. When we queried one another it was evident that the violence in the region had taken its toll on the civilian population more than the long standing regimes.
We seem to have quickly dismissed the current situation in Syria, and filed it in our minds as “violence in the middle east” the unstable region that it is. The U.S. has had talks, spoken against such atrocious acts while every day the Authoritarian regime continues to rule with people suffering at the hands of their merciless ruler. People…who amount to a mass of thousands of children, families, and communities. From the outside looking in the country looks rather grim as it’s marred with the blood of innocent people forever scarred by this “civil unrest”. This morning I read something that lightened the picture. Although there are more than 2 million displaced or refugee Syrian children in Jordan and the surrounding region and although young girls collect water in near freezing temperatures by their refugee camps in Jordan, several international organizations are taking a step forward.
UNICEF has assisted refugee children through several outages the main and most important in this winter season are Blankets. The United Nations Refugee Agency and the Jordanian Government are preparing to open a second major camp just as Syrian refugee numbers have increased crossing into Jordan (over 6,400 in the course of a night). Outside of those large entities there are people helping, people like UNICEF child protection specialists who go out daily and interact with these refugees to help them reach their sense of identity, to help them connect with one another, and to re-learn to play, and talk about their feelings in dealing with the immense stress they’ve undergone.
I write this not to rant about international organizations, injustice or governments. I write this blog so that readers can look at themselves and thank God for their situations because in other places it’s much worse. It is my hope that one day I’ll be that change, be that someone who can lend a hand directly in those camps in those countries where gender inequality, impoverished children and displaced families exist. I ask YOU to become more aware of the rest of the world and help. Help, even if it’s helping your neighbor next door who isn’t able to walk to their car, or someone on the side of the grocery store with no food or money, help because that help is the hope that will brighten the long days ahead.