Jordan: “Oh, how much I miss home”

Athab and Mhanna have lived in a two-room apartment in Zarqa, Jordan since 2012.

Athab and Mhanna have lived in a two-room apartment in Zarqa, Jordan since 2012.

When violence had broken out in their hometown in Southern Syria, they felt trapped. “We saw people being killed in front of us and we were so scared we would be too,” says Mhanna.

They fled their home in the first days of the Syria crisis, a crisis that has now stretched over seven years.

Athab and Mhanna got married in Syria not long before the crisis began. A month after their wedding, however, Athab started to feel tired. Doctors discovered that she had ovarian cysts and needed surgery as soon as possible.

She had the surgery, but after they fled to Jordan she started to feel tired again. “Athab was feeling pain every day but I didn’t know what to do,” remembers Mhanna. “I took her to many doctors but no one was willing to help us. She suffered for four months—until Medair came and helped us.”

The situation was deemed urgent by the Medair health team, and Athab was rapidly enrolled into the cash-for-health programme. “Athab’s medical situation required urgent care in the hospital,” says Dr Mohammad, Medair’s Senior Health Officer. “If she hadn’t had the right care she would not be sitting here with us today.”

Athab stayed in the hospital for four days. During that time, Mhanna was unable to visit her. “It’s really hard for a man to feel weak and unable to be with his wife in such circumstances,” he says.

Athab’s hospital bill was paid by Medair under the cash-for-health programme, which provides financial assistance to families who need urgent health care but cannot afford it.

Because of Athab’s health issues, the couple doesn’t have children. Sometimes they wish they did, but sometimes they feel relieved because they think that it would be unjust to have children living in such difficult circumstances.

Athab and Mhanna never think of going back to Syria. They believe that nothing is left for them there. Syria will only stay in their hearts. Mhanna says with tears in his eyes, “Oh, how much I miss home.”

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Medair’s work in Jordan is made possible with support from EU Civil Protection and Humanitarian Aid, EU-Madad, German Federal Foreign Office, UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs, Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation, Swiss Solidarity, Johns Hopkins University (USA), and generous private donors.

This content was produced with resources gathered by Medair field and headquarters staff. The views expressed herein are those solely of Medair and should not be taken, in any way, to reflect the official opinion of any other organisation.