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What do Syrian refugees miss most?

Jadaliyya has published a moving report by two American academics summarising one aspect of their research on the plight of Syrian refugees. In numerous interviews they conducted last summer, they asked Syrian refugees in Jordan and Lebanon this question: “What do you miss most?”

The responses they received – many of which are published here – vary in length, detail and emotion. They cannot be summarised, so you would have to read them yourself to get the full picture. Here are a few samples:

“I miss my dignity. And I miss my son because he’s alone there with those criminal monsters.”

“The thing I miss most are the flowers on my balcony in Syria. And I miss the street of the house of my parents, my childhood house where I grew up. It has been destroyed by the regime forces.”

“I miss Syrian falafel. My brother Ibrahim was martyred, and I always think about him. I think about my brother and all the children that were martyred along with him.”

And this is how the authors describe the responses: “Their words and the vivid images they conjure spur us to remember who people are, and what Syria means to them. They confront us with the brutal reality of what violence has done to them and their lives. They push us to understand how these people and millions of others like them will endure war, and how these memories will be part of enabling them to rebuild their lives.”


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