This past Saturday, June 18th the Domincan sisters had a presentation in Mariandale Center in Ossining with Felice Gelman. Felice visited Jordan in April to learn more about the situation of Syrian Refugees there. She met with refugee families from Syria in Amman and in the huge Za’atari camp.
Even though she was only there for two days, Felice met with a variety of people and was able to give us a good description of the refugee camp and what life is like for some Syrian refugees. It’s hard for us, living our comfortable lives in the U.S., to imagine what like is like for refugees, who once upon a time lived comfortable lives like we do.
Hearing about the trauma of losing family members, friends, homes, careers, livelihood, peace of mind, and a sense of hope for the future is just awful. And on top of that, life in refugee camps is very difficult; life for refugees in general is very hard.
Many refugees only want to go home to their country; some want to go to other countries including the U.S. It’s really sad to hear people and political leaders in this country talk about refugees as potentially dangerous people who are a threat to us and should be kept out of our country – instead of finding ways to welcome refugees here.
Thankfully there are lots of people in our area who are generously reaching out to assist in the resettling of refugees in the Hudson Valley.
See the Refugee Call to Action newsletter here: Click here: June 2016 News and Update
I wish everyone could have the opportunity to find out who the refugees are and what they have been and are going through – these good and innocent people. The strongest memory I have of Felice’s talk, is her photo of a little girl with her mother and aunt who has stopped talking. The trauma has completely silenced this precious child.
To learn more about the Za’atari refugee camp, you can go to SalamNeighbor.org where you can get an intimate look at the heartbreak and hope of the world’s most dire refugee crisis. You can preview the film “Salam Neighbor,” rent or buy the film, and find ways to help Syrian refugees. I encourage you to try to learn more about who the refugees are and why we should help them.
Sister Ceil Lavan, OP