Tomorrow we will be sending our 28th 40-foot container of relief supplies to Syrian refugees living in Lebanon, with our partner Witness as Ministry. Witness as Ministry works in Lebanon with thousands of refugees through feeding programs, providing basic needs, education, and training. They shared the story below with us, about one of the refugees they serve and her family.
Zakia is a 20-year-old Syrian refugee now living in Lebanon and she’s one of more than 1000 Syrian refugees, who escaped together to Lebanon in 2016.
Zakia, her parents, and four siblings, currently live in a small, rented, humble house in Lebanon; she is the oldest of her siblings, and the breadwinner of her family, with a very meager salary. Neighbors, friends and a charity organization have reached out and continue to help them.
“When the war first started in Syria in 2012, we were living in Aleppo. The first few shells landed around our house, my mom, siblings, and dad were there and they were very terrified; there was more shelling and many people were killed and injured. My mom got sick and she was telling my brother, that’s it, we are dying,” Zakia shared. Luckily they survived the first attack but there were many others.
She continues, “I was studying in the room facing the balcony and all of a sudden we hear this whistling noise followed by a loud crash. Two shells had fallen on top of the building where we lived, all the glass in the house shattered, there were many children, and everyone was crying and screaming.”
Zakia and her family left Aleppo to a distant village to maintain a sense of normalcy. She and her father risked their lives to get back into Aleppo to take her exams, and Zakia passed her final high school exam. But due to the continued shelling and fighting, they couldn’t stay, so they decided to leave.
“We left all our belongings, and everything else behind and we fled through a mountain road, and walked for almost 24 hours; the road was really hard and dangerous. We fled Syria for a better future, safety, and to escape the war. I was scared of the way Lebanese people might treat us, due to religious discrimination, but this did not happen.” Zakia’s family was especially concerned coming to Lebanon because they were Kurdish.
Despite now living in Lebanon and in safety, Zakia continues to have panic attacks, coupled with tears and emotional trauma for what she, her siblings and parents have gone through. Currently, Zakia’s parents and children have a refugees status and are hoping to emigrate to a host country.
“My family and I have faith in God and we always encourage each other knowing that the best is yet to come.”
This is just one family that our partner, Witness as Ministry, serves. As we continue to hear reports from the field, the need for relief supplies is still very great for these refugee families in Lebanon. If you would like to join us in serving these refugees, click here: https://www.givingchildrenhope.org/products/refugee-relief/