Fatima: A Day Feels Like A Year During Winter in Syria

The winter in Syria has made the condition of the internally displaced people there even worse. One of the refugees, Fatima, said the conditions in the refugee camps were awful when winter arrived. She said a day felt like a year.

Syrian refugee camp
Illustration. Winter in a Syrian refugee camp. (special document)

ACTNews, SYRIA Fatima is one of the Internally Displaced People (IDP) in Syria. She became an IDP when her village was bombed during the airstrikes. Now, she lives in the Ali refugee camp, in northern Syria, with her children and thousands of other refugees.

Fatima’s family finds life in the camp extremely difficult. There are very few resources available, and there has been a drop in the amount of humanitarian aid available in the area. 

The winter, which is a few months away in Syria, also makes Fatima very worried. Winter makes everything worse: without sufficient shelter or enough bedding, the family has little comfort as they battle the harsh weather.

“We used to live in comfort and happiness, but now we live in misery. A day feels like a year because of the hardships we encounter daily,” said Fatima.

Fatima recalls a night from last year when it snowed heavily, and high winds destroyed many tents. Her husband stayed up to protect the tent, but it, unfortunately, collapsed, meaning the family had to move to another tent.

“Our clothes and beds were very wet, and my children caught a cold. I will never forget it,” recalled her.

Winter in Syria can be a very dangerous time, and life in Ali camp, which sits at the foot of a mountain, is especially hazardous.

“Stones fall from the mountains during bad weather. It isn’t possible to hear the stones coming, so when it happens, it is very frightening. Once, the stones hit our tent, but by the grace of God, we woke up in time to flee to our relatives in another camp. We ran through heavy rain and complete darkness, as at the time, there was no electricity outside of the camp. I will never forget the horror of that night,” Fatima said.

Fatima has now lost her parents and her husband and raises her children alone. She does all she can to meet their needs, but it is burdensome due to the deep poverty in which they live and the camp’s remote location. She fears for her children when they are sick because the medication is expensive, and they are not able to travel to the hospital.

“The hospitals are far away, and we do not have any means to reach them. My children and grandchildren get sick often, but we cannot go to the hospital. Sometimes we try to wait for passing cars to take us there. In addition to this, medication is expensive. I need it, but I can’t afford any. I rely on good people to buy it for me, as I must take it,” said Fatima.