26 September 2017   |  Last Updated 28-11-2014 02:32

      Friday 28, November 2014

      BLOG: A life without a home

      EVERY year we don our red poppies to remember those who lost their lives in the Great War. But do we ever really consider what life is like for those that survive an ongoing conflict? For those that yearn for a home that no longer exists.

      Today over 9 million Syrians have been forced out of their homes, away from their families and out of their country due to what seems to be a never ending fight.

      Joseph* is one of the many Syrian people that one day fled his home in hope of finding safety. Everyday more and more people are fleeing their homes looking for shelter in neighbouring countries such as Lebanon, and Iraq.  He fled to Turkey before securing a job in Bahrain, but all Joseph wants to do is go home.

      What started as a fight for freedom has turned into a battle of power no one really wants.

      It has been three years since initial protests began against the Assad regime. We live in a world where we can freely express our views, so it can seem impossible to comprehend that many others do not get this privilege. Under the Assad regime many Syrians feel that their country has become oppressed.

      In these years nothing has changed for the better in Syria. Instead, civilians live in the fear of the unknown.  Fighting is no longer between the Free Syrian Army (FSA) and the government’s army. Militia groups from neighbouring countries are now taking advantage of Syrians vulnerability, as they try to take control over this crippled country. With the rising dominance of IS and the conflict between them and Al-Qaeda, Syrian people struggle to see how and if this war will end.

      It has become a no mans land for extremists and terrorists. Children do not know a life without constant shooting and shelling. They no longer react to the sadness around them; it is all they have ever known.

      Joseph explained that he could trust no one. Syrians that wanted Assad removed from power, did not just fear his regime, they feared the extremists groups fighting to make a Syria a single Islamic state.

      Joseph and his family have had to live in hiding. Due to their respected status among their community his family was targeted on numerous occasions.  Earlier in the year Joseph’s father took the risky trip back to Syria from their safe house in Turkey to check on their land. He was confronted by opposition forces and abducted. The Kurdish militia group (PYD) gave no reasoning for this other than because they could. Weeks passed. Eventually Joseph’s father was released. He was lucky he had the money and influence to get help. But should a person’s right to live be defined by their wealth?  

      A few months after his father was released Joseph used his family’s’ connections to secure a job in Bahrain. He would be finally free of hiding.

      For the first time in years his family was together. This was his second chance. But what may seem like a great new start left Joseph feeling lost.

      No matter how much he tried, he couldn’t shake the feeling that this place would never be home. Joseph may be safe for now and away from the constant threat of air strikes and abduction but he will always be a Syrian without a home.

      So whilst we remember those who lost their lives, let’s not forget those whose battle is still going. Joseph may be alive but he’s certainly not living a life anyone would want.

      *Names have been changed to protect privacy

      By Laliesha Ali

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