Julie's blog

Among the Lucky Ones - Sudanese Migrants Evacuated to Khartoum

They sat in Damascus airport’s “old” terminal in sombre clumps of fives and tens, clutching small suitcases that contained the remnants of their lives in Lebanon. For most, the journey to the crowded departure lounge involved a combination of desperate driving in rented vehicles they could ill-afford, long walks around destroyed bridges, overnight stays on congested border crossings, and days spent in a temporary housing facility in Syria.

 

On the Way Home: Displaced Lebanese Return from Syria

Nine-year-old Malak watched with interest as her mother and grandmother bid a tearful goodbye to friends. For the past several weeks, they had sheltered at the Ramleh school, about 200 kilometres from the Syrian capital Damascus. Malak’s family is among some 180,000 Lebanese who fled to Syria in the wake of the conflict. About 110,000 of them are reported to have already returned home since the ceasefire was announced earlier this week. Many of those who remain in Syria lack the resources to make their way back.

 

Evacuated Migrants Continue to Recount Depressing Tales of Abuse

At first glance, you'd think they were tourists putting up at dormitories - all spread out comfortably on mattresses or bunker beds and chatting cheerfully. The salubrious surroundings add to the relaxed atmosphere as sunlight pours in from the balconies attached to the rooms. The building itself is the beautiful Mar Touma monastery located on a hill some 25 kilometres away from the Syrian capital, Damascus.