November 29, 2013 |
Americans are a generous people. During the holiday season, we are busy buying gifts and donating to the needy. We were quick to write a check or text funds when a typhoon struck the Philippines. But this Thanksgiving, I can't help wondering why the biggest humanitarian crisis in a decade is getting so little attention. I'm referring to Syria, where nearly one third of the population, almost 7 million people, has either fled the country or is displaced and struggling to survive inside Syria.
October 6, 2013 |
PHILADELPHIA As war-displaced Syrians face another harsh winter in windblown camps, Philadelphia groups are collecting "gently used" coats, blankets, shoes, and boots for the refugees. Coordinated locally by the Philadelphia Arab-American Development Corp. (AADC), and with the participation of the city's Al-Aqsa Mosque, Independence Charter School, and Science Leadership Academy, the clothing drive was conceived by students and expanded by Qatar Foundation International (QFI), a Washington-based nonprofit established by the Persian Gulf nation.
August 28, 2013 |
Liesl Loeb, 85, a Holocaust survivor who lived through a haunting piece of pre-World War II history and then made history herself by telling of it, died Sunday, Aug. 25. Mrs. Loeb escaped Nazi Germany as a girl and came to this country with her parents. She lived in Elkins Park for many years, and died of a blood cancer at home in Warminster, Bucks County. As a 10-year-old in 1939, Mrs. Loeb was aboard the German ocean liner, MS St. Louis, when the vessel carrying 936 Jewish refugees from Nazi Germany was denied entry to Cuba, the United States, and Canada.
July 24, 2013
Syrian refugees stuck at border AMMAN, Jordan - Relief officials warned Tuesday of a brewing humanitarian crisis in southern Syria as rising violence reportedly continued to strand thousands of would-be refugees along the border with Jordan. According to rebel officials and local residents, an intensified government bombing campaign is obstructing roads and paths in the region, where 10,000 displaced people are said to have spent the last week in border towns and villages waiting to cross into Jordan.
July 20, 2013 |
ZAATARI CAMP, Jordan - Secretary of State John Kerry got a firsthand view of the grinding war in Syria on Thursday, visiting a sprawling refugee camp that houses 115,000 Syrians who have fled the fighting and hearing bitter complaints that the world has forgotten them. Kerry met with six Syrian refugees who angrily asked why world powers have not set up a no-fly zone or protective humanitarian zone inside Syria, something the Obama administration has considered but decided against for now. "They are frustrated and angry at the world," Kerry said afterward.
May 16, 2013 |
YAYLADAGI, Turkey - Facing one of the world's largest refugee crises in decades, Turkish officials are urgently appealing for international financial assistance and calling on wealthy nations to start accepting large numbers of Syrian refugees. The stance marks a shift for the Turkish government, which had long insisted that Ankara would manage and pay for the refugee crisis on its own as a matter of national pride. But with the cost to Turkey hitting $1.5 billion, an estimated 400,000 refugees in the country, and a total of one million expected by the end of the year, pressure is building.
April 21, 2013 |
IN A WAY, they'd been on the run their whole lives. The family of Tamerlan and Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, the brothers suspected of the Boston Marathon bombings, is from war-torn Chechnya but had moved to Kyrgyzstan and to Makhachkala, Russia, before coming to the United States as refugees in 2002. Tamerlan, 26, who was killed by police in a shootout early Friday, was about 15 when the family began their new life in Cambridge, Mass. Dzhokhar, who was arrested late Friday after hiding for hours in a covered boat in a suburban Boston back yard, was only 8. Dzhokhar played volleyball and wrestled and later studied at the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth.
March 19, 2013 |
EZEKIEL Tomboyeke had fled his native Sierra Leone during a civil war that claimed tens of thousands of lives, including family members. He was able to come to the United States, where he found work, lived among relatives, and felt safe. But Saturday night, police say, a driver struck Tomboyeke on Pump Branch Road in Winslow Township, Camden County, as he was walking home after work. He was hit about 11:20 p.m. Township police said the vehicle went partly off the road, struck Tomboyeke and kept going.
March 10, 2013 |
ZAATARI, Jordan - Walk among the plastic tents in one corner of this sprawling, dust-swept desert camp packed with Syrian refugees, and a young woman in a white headscarf signals. "Come in, you'll have a good time," suggests Nada, 19, who escaped from the southern border town of Daraa into Jordan several months ago. Her father, sporting a salt-and-pepper beard and a traditional red-checkered headscarf, sits outside under the scorching sun, watching silently. Nada prices her body at $7, negotiable.
March 7, 2013 |
GAZIANTEP, Turkey - Syrian rebels abducted 21 U.N. observers from the Golan Heights on Wednesday and threatened to hold them until the Syrian government withdraws its troops from the area, marking the most serious escalation of the conflict yet along Syria's southern border with Israel. The abductions came amid word of another grim milestone in Syria's humanitarian crisis: The number of U.N.-registered refugees now exceeds one million - half of them children - described by an aid worker as a "human river" of thousands spilling out of the war-ravaged country every day. Nearly four million of Syria's 22 million people have been driven from their homes by war. Of the displaced, two million have sought cover in camps and makeshift shelters across Syria, one million have registered as refugees in Turkey, Jordan, Lebanon, Iraq, and Egypt, and several hundred thousand fled the country but have not signed up with the U.N. refugee agency.