Mahmoud’s tough life has gotten a lot tougher. The 19-year-old Syrian refugee supports up to 10 members of his family now living in an abandoned building in Irbid, Jordan. He’s out on the dusty streets of the city day and night looking for work so he can eek out enough money to pay for bread for his sibling with special needs, his aunt, cousins, and young nieces and nephews. He earns about $5 to $8 a day — just enough to pay for clean water.
Through conversations, Mahmoud reveals his gentle demeanor. However, there’s a harsher reality behind his brown eyes and ready smile. “There is so much I have seen, so much death and so many dead people on the streets of my home,” Mahmoud says.
His father and older brother were tortured and killed in Syria. Mahmoud fled Syria with hundreds of other men to the border of Jordan.
He was reunited with his mother and aunt at Za’atari Refugee Camp. He still speaks of school and how he hopes to return to the classroom so he can study. Until then, he must be the father figure for his slain brother’s children, Hind, 4, and Mahoud, 3.
The children rarely leave their uncle’s side and Mahmoud is torn each time he has to leave. Before he can cope with his ordeal, Mahmoud must now chase a living for his family’s survival.
(Picture 3-Young Boy) Mohaned, 3, was holding his father’s hand when gunmen walked up to the family in front of heir home in Syria and opened fire, instantly killing the man. Mohaned, whose name means “praise worthy,” rarely speaks and refuses to leave his aunt’s side.
(Picture 4-Boy in front of TV) Abed finds solace by watching TV cartoons. He is 13 and has Down syndrome. Sitting close to the screen helps him drown out other noises—shouts or backfiring cars send him into a screaming fit. “He is very scared,” his mother says. “When he is not watching TV we have to give him medicine to go to sleep.”
Mahmoud, his siblings, nieces and nephews are but a few children who are Crying for their Country. Read about other families and their experiences here.
World Vision is coming along side Syrian refugees in Lebanon and Jordan. Help prevent a lost generation of children.