Zainab was just 3 weeks old when her parents decided to leave their family home in Homs, Syria. It was 2012 and the Syrian government was carrying out what is now known as the Siege of Homs. Neighborhood by neighborhood, Syria's 3rd largest city was flattened by the Syrian military. Zainab's uncle was arrested by the police one evening with the rest of the adult men living on their street street. A week later, he was murdered in jail. That's when Zainab's mother and father decided it was time to leave Syria to save their lives.
Together with their five children, they left their home by foot, bringing just themselves and the things they could hold in their hands. They walked 11 days from Homs, south past Damascus to the border of Jordan.
After crossing the Jordanian border they arrived at a refugee camp where they stayed until they received UNHCR refugee status. The conditions in the camp were atrocious and dangerous, so they opted to leave the camp and live in poverty in the city for 4 years until they won the lottery to come to the US in 2016.
When I met Zainab and her family, they had been in the country for 3 weeks. They were living in an apartment with no beds, furniture, or even light bulbs. Zainab's four older siblings had never been to school. Since then, all four of them have been enrolled in school. Together with the Miry's List giving family, we were able to outfit their house with beds, linens, toiletries, clothing and shoes for each family member, school supplies, kitchenware and much more.
Their struggles are far from over as they adjust and reestablish themselves in their new lives in America. We are lucky to have met Zainab and her family and will continue to keep you posted on them.
You can give to Zainab and her family here on their Amazon wishlist.