As most of you know, I spent my year abroad in Syria (2007-08) living with the wonderful Betul, her husband Daoud and their daughters Maria and Jessy. I spoke to Betul on the phone yesterday and although she was as optimistic as ever, she told me the family are in need of a little help to pay for basics such as food, gas, school books and heating oil, especially as the weather gets colder.
The family are still living in Damascus and are safe enough for now, but there has recently been fighting and explosions in nearby neighbourhoods and there is no telling how long they will be safe for, or how much longer it will be possible to get money to them where they are. They only have water, power and internet sporadically through the day and prices of everyday essentials have sky-rocketed.
They can't afford to move abroad to escape the conflict as the only savings they have are the apartment - they wouldn't get much if they sold it now and would be unable to afford to return to Syria in the future if they did. The refugee camps are not a safe place to be as the number of desperate refugees continues to swell and the biting winter weather creeps in. So, for now they have decided the best place for them to be is at home, hoping that the situation will not get worse as the fighting intensifies in other parts of the country. Maria is in her second year of her University studies in Media while Jessy is re-doing her final year of the Baccalaureate at school. The conditions are far from ideal but they are getting on with their studies as best as they can.
If you could spare even a small amount then it would help them out immensely in these tough times and remind them they haven't been forgotten.
If you have any questions, including about how to donate, then please don't hesitate to drop me a line on [email protected].
Thanks for your help,