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Syria: “A day feels like a year for us”

22 Mar 2017

Majida* is a 58-year-old mother from Dara’a Syria who heads a household in Jordan while receiving treatment in our Médecins Sans Frontières’ non-communicable diseases (NCDs) project in the Irbid governorate. 

“I had to leave Syria because of the heavy airstrikes and bombardment. My husband said: "Run away and I will join you next month.” We paid 24,000 Syrian Pounds to get the official documents issued to be able to travel to Jordan, but we could only obtain high school certificates but no university certificates. When I arrived to Jordan, we lived in a tent for three months and afterwards, we lived in a caravan for one year, but it rained so hard that the water leaked into the caravan. As for my husband back in Syria, he got married to another woman and refused to send us money. 

"Although there were many people who pressured me to force my children to get married, I didn’t give in and tried hard to support my children with education as a top priority"

My son decided to leave the camp and registered at the University of Science and Technology in Jordan with the help of a foreigner. He began studying pharmacy once again despite all the difficulties he faced during registration and is expected to graduate this year after the month of Ramadan ends. I was always supporting him morally to continue his studies as oppose to the discouragement he received from his relatives. I also supported my daughter and always encouraged her to overcome difficulties and continue studying despite the psychological and physical fatigue that both she and my son were going through. I had to take them several times to the hospital because of this fatigue. Now, she is about to graduate as an assistant pharmacist! Although there were many people who pressured me to force my children to get married, I didn’t give in and tried hard to support my children with education as a top priority.

I used to buy my medications in Zaatari camp, but now get them free-of-charge thanks to Médecins Sans Frontières. I’ve been suffering for some time from a heart condition and from hypertension, and more recently, from diabetes and high triglycerides. Prior to receiving free medication, I was buying a pack of 30 triglyceride-lowering tablets for 30 Jordanian Dinars, and most days, I fail to find the money. My health condition has now stabilized through receiving regular medical treatment. I suffered greatly, and it had an extremely negative impact on my physical and psychological states. The psychosocial support sessions that Médecins Sans Frontières offers helped me, but I still struggle psychologically due to tight finances and lack of job opportunities. 

I have no other choice but to be strong for the sake of my children, for they have only me in this exile after their father abandoned them. Our situation has been very hard for so long, to the extent that a day feels like a year for us. We have suffered from the harsh coldness of winter, and from the lack of money and resources. I wait patiently for my children to complete their studies, so that they can work with dignity without needing help from anyone. I am proud of them, but I am afraid that they will not be able find an opportunity to work, to get married and be settled. We are now seeking immigration out of Jordan, so that my children can work, and we do not wish to return to Syria at all.”

*Name has been changed