I still have fond memories of growing up in Syria — from the family trips we took together in the summertime to my years in university making friends and hanging out in Aleppo. This all changed of course when war broke out. These fond memories seemed very distant when the shelling began.
Before I started with GOAL, I worked with the Red Crescent two years before the war began. This is how I like to remember Syria – special times working with vulnerable people in orphan centers and care homes. The smiles and love they gave us will always stay with me.
A bridge for communities
My family and I were forced to flee Syria and take refuge in Turkey when the conflict broke out. When my brother was arrested we knew our home was no longer safe for us. I was forced to abandon my country, but I did not want to abandon my people. I wanted to continue working in the humanitarian sector.
The opportunity to work with GOAL was one I could not turn down. In my role as Area Coordinator I consider myself a bridge between our teams, communities and beneficiaries in Syria. By speaking up for people in need we can help to improve their lives. When I see the difference we are making to the lives of the families we work with it reminds me how important our work is.
A vital lifeline for millions
Everyday brings its own challenges, risks and dangers. Working in a war zone creates huge uncertainty and pressure, not only on staff but on the communities we work with. Decisions made thousands of miles away can determine the fate of millions.
The last remaining border crossing between Turkey and Syria at Bab Al Hawa is a vital lifeline for 2.4 million who receive aid every month. Crucially, the crossing enables us to reach beneficiaries with food, water and essential supplies. However, this border is often under the threat of closure, most recently in July when fortunately, the UN Security Council voted to keep it open.
Despite the challenges, it can be very rewarding. When I see the smiles on the faces of the families we work with it takes away all the stress of the job. And it drives me to do more for them.
I’m really proud of the work we do. In the last year alone GOAL has provided access to clean running water, food and emergency relief for more than 1.3 million people in Northwest Syria.
The future brings hope
When this is all over, I hope to return to my Master’s degree in Business Administration. Then one day I would like to help rebuild Syria’s economy. To set up my own business and provide job opportunities for many families.
I see hope in children. I hope to support them and help them achieve their full potential. They are the future of a peaceful, prosperous Syria.