Date:16 May 2017
It’s a beautiful day in Antaka, Turkey. Temperatures are rising steadily and the city is awake with a bustle of activity. Today is going to be an exciting full day as we head to Rayhanli to visit a prosthetic Hospital. We will also be meeting alot of children and carrying out alot of our “50 acts of kindness” activities.
Yesterday we met a little boy selling tissues to make a living, we bought him a meal and supported his venture by buying a little extra tissues.
What happened to the children we saw on Social media?
Yesterday we met with Syria Relief officers and spent majority of the day meeting refugees and conducting interviews with them.
Following a discussion with our host organisation in Turkey, Syria Relief, we enquired about Omran(if you recall the little boy seated in an ambulance covered in dust). We learnt that he is still in Allepo with his family and there is limited access to him.
Another syrian child that most of us are familiar with from pictures and updates from social media is Bana Al Abed (the little girl that used to inform the world about what was going on in Syria via twitter and facebook).
We discovered that she was lucky enough to be evacuated from Aleppo by one of the directors of a relief organisation. Alhumdulillah! Bana is doing well, she is currently based in Istanbul and has been granted turkish citizenship. We did make contact with her mother, however, they were not speaking to any media or press personel.
My most emotional aspect from yesterday was finding out that these are real people, in real situations and what had happened to them was also very real.
We spoke to a doctor, who was in his first year of oncology when the uprising began, he was forced to abandon his studies and now constantly works in an aid field.
Another person we chatted to studied economy and was employed at the local town council in Aleppo.
He spoke to us about the time when the fighting began. He explained emotionally about how he had lost 75 family members. It was also heartbreaking when he told us that he had to leave behind some of his family members when he fled from Eastern Aleppo to Idlib then from Idlib to Turkey. He is currently in Turkey where he assists displaced Syrians also living in Turkey.
Streets of Turkey
Further as we walked the streets of Turkey, we were told that alot of the Syrians are currently in the city that we are staying in.
Some are working in construction and some are even sweeping the streets and picking up litter.
The heartbreaking aspect is that most of these Syrian refugees are highly educated(lawyers and engineers) and are occupying menial tasks around Turkey.
We hope to continuosly bring you #storiesofthedisplacedmillions and hope to get alot more footage today.