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July 6, 2020
For the world’s 80 million displaced people, memories fade, but not hope
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For the world’s 80 million displaced people, memories fade, but not hope

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Syrian refugees Saleh Hammo (left) and his brother-in-law Mohammad Bwedani restore woodwork on a rooftop in Amman, Jordan.

CBS/Amjad Tadros


Amman, Jordan — On a rooftop within the middle of Jordan’s capital, handymen Saleh Hammo and his brother-in-law Mohammad Bwedani are busy repairing woodwork. Eight years in the past, each males escaped with their households from their hometown of Douma, within the countryside outdoors Damascus, Syria. Douma was the scene of some of the fiercest battles between Syrian rebels and forces loyal to Syrian President Bashar Assad.

“The destruction and my concern for my youngsters’s life made us escape to Jordan,” Hammo tells CBS Information. 1000’s of Syrian refugees have returned dwelling because the conflict has eased, however like many others, the brothers say they will not really feel secure going dwelling so long as Assad stays in energy.

“I left my land, my home and my automobile behind,” says Hammo. 

He has footage on his telephone of the three-storey constructing they lived in. Now it is only a pile of rubble.

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What’s left of Saleh Hammo’s household dwelling in Douma, Syria.

Saleh Hammo


“Even when we return to Douma, it will not really feel like dwelling once more,” he says. “Most people we knew there have left, too. For my 10-year-old son, Omar, house is now Amman.”

Neither of the lads had heard of World Refugee Day, which might be noticed on Saturday. The day is promoted and noticed yearly by the UNHCR, the United Nations refugee company.

This yr, the UNHCR’s annual International Tendencies report mentioned there are at present 80 million individuals around the globe who’ve been forcefully displaced from their properties — individuals like Hammo and his household.

“That is about 1% of the world’s inhabitants,” UNHCR’s Senior Communications Advisor for the Center East and North Africa, Rula Amin, instructed CBS Information, including that “with fewer and fewer of those that flee capable of return dwelling, progress in displacement is much outstripping options.”

The UNHCR report affirms that “the state of affairs in Syria continues to drive the biggest refugee disaster on the earth. There stay over 5.5 million Syrian refugees registered in the primary internet hosting nations — Turkey, Lebanon, Jordan, Iraq, and Egypt — of which over 2.6 million are youngsters.”

Syrian refugees flood Lebanon


Syrian refugees flood Lebanon

36 photos

The conflict has left greater than 6 million extra Syrians internally displaced — compelled to flee their properties however nonetheless sheltering inside their nation. In complete, Syrians make up a sixth of the world’s displaced inhabitants.

“Jordan continues to host the second-highest variety of refugees per capita globally,” notes the UNHCR report. The dominion has supplied refuge to thousands and thousands of individuals escaping nearly each regional battle for many years, from the 1948 and 1967 Arab-Israeli wars to the wars in Lebanon, Iraq, and, most lately, Syria.

Syrian refugees promoting organs to outlive

On the west aspect of Amman, Mohammed al-Otaibi is visiting his cousin Rizq in a quiet middle-class suburb. Over an early household dinner, they focus on COVID-19, Center East politics, and worldwide conspiracy theories.

Like Salah and Mohammed, the Otaibis are refugees. They hadn’t heard of World Refugee Day both.

After the primary Arab-Israeli conflict in 1948, the Otaibi cousins fled their village close to what had been the Palestinian city of Khudeira. Since then it has been the Israeli metropolis of Hadera. They have been barely youngsters once they have been compelled from their homeland 72 years in the past.

Their reminiscences of escape aren’t as vivid as these of the Syrian refugees, however they will nonetheless recall their exodus to the West Financial institution, then to Jordan, and at last to Kuwait, the place they spent most of their lives. Each ended up in Jordan after Saddam Hussein’s invasion of Kuwait in 1990.

“We nonetheless have the keys and land deeds for our homes again in Palestine,” says Rizq al-Otaibi.

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Mohammed al-Otaibi (proper) visits his cousin Rizq for dinner in Amman, Jordan. Each males are Palestinian refugees who fled their properties in what’s now Israel in 1948.

CBS/Andrea Polia


Even at his superior age, Mohammed al-Otaibi hasn’t accepted the truth that his life will doubtless finish right here, in Jordan. They know their previous properties have been largely destroyed, however he says, “so long as we’ve the keys, we are going to go them on to our youngsters, and our youngsters’s youngsters.”

The UNHCR report says “thousands and thousands of refugees around the globe dwell with little hope of ever returning dwelling.”

Neither the Otaibis nor the relative newcomers from Syria are able to let go of that hope but.

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