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Sunday, December 15, 2013

Brutal Reality For Syrian Refugees Within Snowstorm

In a cold so biting that exposed fingers quickly start to ache, Syrian children in plastic sandals trudge through mud and chunks of ice, their tiny feet red from exposure.

Young girls pick their way across hillocks of garbage to dip up cloudy water from a shallow well and collect some of the trash to burn for heat. The luckier ones wear rubber boots and wool sweaters; many shiver in cotton sweatshirts and thin leggings. At night, parents sleep entwined with their children, fending off the fate of several infants just across the border in Syria who, in the snowstorms of recent days, froze to death.

This is just one of the hundreds of informal, scattered camps that house most of the several hundred thousand Syrians who have fled to Lebanon. Already suffering from shortages of food aid, schooling, clean water, sanitation and employment, Syrians displaced inside the country and throughout the region — about nine million people — now must contend with bitter weather that, according to Unicef, threatens more than 100,000 children living in temporary and often flimsy shelters in Lebanon alone.

The stormy cold has descended over much of the Middle East. While snow is common in Lebanon and parts of Syria, some Cairenes saw snow for the first time in their lives and Jerusalem this week recorded the heaviest December snowfall since the 1950s.

Syrians at a sprawling refugee camp in northern Jordan scrambled to batten down their tents against torrential rains and high winds as a blustery winter storm battered parts of the Middle East for a second day Thursday.

The storm, dubbed Alexa, already has pounded much of Lebanon and parts of northern Syria, pushing temperatures below zero and dumping snow and heavy rains. In some parts of Israel and the West Bank, meanwhile, government offices and schools shuttered to wait out the winter weather.

Syrian refugees across the region, however, were among the hardest hit by the storm, which heaped another layer of misery on the already grim existence of many of the more than 2 million Syrians who have fled the civil war raging in their homeland.

1 comment:

Syria4ever said...

Bashar Assad is a criminal of war and the whole world shares this maniac this brutality for supporting in secret and keeping up their fucking silence

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