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Father's Day Reflection
June 16, 2013

Father's Day Reflection
The Syrian conflict has claimed thousands of lives and forced millions to flee their homes. (Jesuit Refugee Service)
As we celebrate Father's Day in the United States today, JRS remembers fathers around the world, and we honor those who have been forced to flee their homes. We are thankful for all of the fathers in our lives and for fathers like Ahmad, who have the courage to lead their children out of violence and toward a new life, however uncertain the future.
(Washington, D.C.) June 16, 2013 — Ahmad* was living with his wife and six children near Damascus amid regular violent conflict. Earlier this year a mortar landed directly in the family’s living room as the family slept in surrounding rooms. Luckily, no one was seriously injured, but their home was destroyed. Knowing it was no longer safe to stay, they fled immediately, leaving what was left of their belongings behind. 

The family traveled through the night by bus along the road leading south to Jordan, a very dangerous journey as the road is contested between the opposing sides in Syria’s conflict. They arrived in Daraa, near the Jordanian border, and walked the last few miles through the desert and into Jordan. 

Unlike many Syrian refugees who are picked up immediately by Jordanian officials and transported to refugee camps, the family did not encounter any authorities and traveled to the city of Irbid. They moved into a two-bedroom apartment already being shared by two other families who had previously fled.  

A Jesuit Refugee Service Jordan team visited the apartment the day after their arrival. These home visits are an essential component of emergency relief work throughout the Middle East and other regions. They help JRS to identify refugees most in need of support and to provide direct assistance in urgent cases. Often most importantly, they allow JRS to fulfill our mission of accompaniment by simply listening to personal stories and understanding realities. 

During this conversation, accompaniment turned to action. A JRS team member discovered that Ahmad had a heart condition and was in urgent need of his heart medication, which he’d left behind in the rush to get his family out safely. He needed to take the medication within hours and did not know to navigate the Jordanian healthcare system. The JRS volunteer brought Ahmad to the local clinic and helped him to communicate with the healthcare workers and get his medication. 

As we celebrate Father's Day in the United States today, JRS remembers fathers around the world, and we honor those who have been forced to flee their homes. We are thankful for all of the fathers in our lives and for fathers like Ahmad, who have the courage to lead their children out of violence and toward a new life, however uncertain the future.

Finally, we are thankful for you, our supporters, who have contributed more than $500,000 thus far toward Middle East emergency relief programs. Your support allows Jesuit Refugee Service/USA to support programs in Syria and throughout the region, like the work in Jordan. This work has been life-saving for Ahmad, and vital to helping his family and others navigate their uncertain future in a new land. 

To learn more about our work in the Middle East, please click here.  

To hear from the JRS Jordan Country Director about his work and vision, please click here.

*Name has been changed.


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Press Contact Information
Mr Christian Fuchs
communicationsdirector@jesuit.org
202-629-5946