Through a father's eyes
30 Aug 2013 | Blog | Syria | Emergency Relief
This Sunday is Father’s Day, and as we celebrate with our dads, we also remember all fathers around the world – especially those who are looking after their families in difficult situations.
Earlier this year, we heard the story of Fawaz – the proud father of newborn twins. Fawaz’s experience of being a first-time father has been hampered by the terrible conflict in his home country of Syria. He worries about the future of his family.
As published by Caritas Internationalis
Fawaz cradles his 20-day old baby girl in his arms as they wait at the Caritas clinic in Amman, Jordan.
The baby has a high fever and has been born with a hip problem. Thankfully, her twin brother is healthy and happy. The twins were born just days after Fawaz and his wife made the dangerous crossing into Jordan from Syria in January.
They had been running from hideout to hideout inside Syria for 6 months after they witnessed the massacre of 40 relatives in Hama. All the members of his aunt’s family were killed. “They were caught in a crossfire,” he said. His village is a ghost town, its 7000 residents all gone. “In Syria, there is only death now,” said Fawaz.
“As we were expecting twins, a doctor advised us that we would probably need an incubator,” he said. “The hospitals are not functioning. It’s too dangerous to try to reach them. So when I found my name was not on the wanted list, we came to Jordan.”
Fawaz, his wife, the twins, his mother and sister live in a tent he has built from four wood sticks and bits of cloth on wasteland. “It’s like 150 years ago,” he said. They have no heater, only wood to burn. “It is very cold,” he said. “And the smoke from the fire makes the babies ill.”
As well as receiving medical care through the clinic, his family has also been registered by Caritas staff members to receive humanitarian aid like a heater and vouchers to buy food, blankets, warm clothing and fuel. “I don’t know what will happen to us next,” said Fawaz. “We thought the crisis would be over in a month. It’s now been two years.”
Since we heard Fawaz’s story earlier this year, the Syria crisis has continued to worsen. The number of people like Fawaz who are in need of urgent humanitarian aid has now grown to over 8.3 million.
Caritas is providing food assistance, medical care, shelter, and other services to Syrian refugees in the neighbouring countries of Lebanon, Jordan and Turkey. Find out more, or donate to the Syria Crisis Appeal »
Fawaz also features in this blog about Caritas' work in providing healthcare to those in most need.
Back to blog