Our Collective Responsibility Towards Refugees | Zeenab’s Passage

By Aayesha Fazal | 27, May, 2020
Our Collective Responsibility Towards Refugees | Zeenab’s Passage

Zeenab and her family at their shelter in Zaatari refugee camp, Mafraq Governorate, Jordan. © UNHCR/David Azia

In February of 2014, Zeenab and her family embarked on a four-day trek to reach Jordan, eventually relocating to Zaatari Camp, which is close to the country’s northern border and home to some 80,000 refugees.

“My house was destroyed, the whole country was destroyed and we really didn’t have a safe place to stay,” said Zeenab, originally from a small town in rural Damascus in Syria.

“There were a lot of strikes and children’s dead bodies all around us. I couldn’t bear that sight and I didn’t want my kids to end up like that.”

The young mother had seen enough of the raging violence in war-torn Syria and the shelling that decimated her home to know she needed to take action to steer her loved ones out of harm’s way.

However, the initial path in search of safety was plotted with significant challenges along the way — namely the lack of supplies to stay warm.

“I had five little kids with me and I only brought two changes of clothes for each. It was during winter, and on our way, we had to leave a lot of our belongings because we could not carry them. The journey was very difficult.”

Zeenab is now a mother to six children – with another on the way. She is eight months pregnant, and mother to daughter Rahaf, 8, and sons Eskander, 14, Murad, 12, Kais, 10, Laith, 5, and Mohamed, 3.

Her family is the recipient of winter cash assistance from UNHCR, providing them with the funds so sorely needed to equip their shelter for the challenging winter conditions.

UNHCR has been distributing winter assistance to vulnerable Syrian refugees like Zeenab in both Zaatari and Azraq camps in Jordan reaching more than 24,000 families as of the end of December 2017. Support has come in the form of in-kind and cash assistance, such as money for gas to cover the cost of refills and for shelter maintenance.

“Thank God, now the situation is better. At least I feel safe and secure. I can sleep and make sure that my kids are with me.” 


How can you support UNHCR’s on-the-ground work with refugees?

To facilitate the contributions of Muslims all over the world, UNHCR has launched its Refugee Zakat Fund, a trusted, compliant and effective distributor harnessing the power of Zakat to transform the lives of refugees. Let’s fulfill our responsibility towards refugees. 

To learn more and contribute you can visit: https://bit.ly/HalalTripZakat

*This article is from CrescentRating-UNHCR’s Joint Publication - Forced Displacement : A Reality For Millions Of Women. You can learn more and download the publication here.

Social Impact Advocate | Refugee Cause