JRS (MENA) Regional Director launches Campaign of Hope of Syrian people

Message from the JRS (MENA) Regional Director Fr. Michael Zammit SJ on the launch of the campaign for the Syrian refugees and displaced. ( March 15th 2017, Beirut)

Lebanon: Running with friends again

Baalbek, 15 March 2017 - It is a tragedy, which will forever remain etched in his memory. He narrates it as though it happened just yesterday. He recalls the exact date it took place in August 2013. Kassem was just about eight years old - like any other child in Syria, enjoying the fun and games, quite oblivious of the conflict, which had enveloped the lives of his family and the neighbours around. 

Six years on, Syrian people share stories of hope for the future
15 March 2017 – “There is still suffering and much pain - but what keeps us going on is our courage to hope and our continued resilience.” These are the words of Lola Mousa, who originally hails from the countryside near the city of Homs in Syria.
Syria: Laila, art is in her heart
Beirut, 21 December 2016 - Al- Zabadani is a beautiful and popular hill town in South western Syria not far from the Lebanon border. For almost five years now it has been a battleground between rebels and the Syrian Army. This picturesque town now stands ravaged with several of its inhabitants seeking refuge in other safer zones in Syria or in another country.
Syria: JRS serves displaced in Aleppo
Beirut, 19 December 2016 — The situation in Aleppo continues to be a
cause of great concern. The hostilities continue without ceasing. People
continue to flee eastern Aleppo in large numbers. Ground reports inform
us that internally displaced people — primarily women and children —
flee with nothing more than the clothes they are wearing and with only a
few essentials.
JRS Syria staff stand together in serving the displaced
(Beirut) November 18, 2016 — The war in Syria has grabbed world headlines for almost six years now; the violence has killed and wounded thousands; millions have been made homeless: most of them displaced within Syria itself,while others have been forced to seek refuge in another country. Many towns and cities of Syria are destroyed beyond recognition.
Message from Fr. Michael Zammit SJ, Regional Director JRS MENA on JRS Foundation Day
It is once again a SPECIAL day for all of us who belong to the Jesuit Refugee Service (JRS) family. We remember with much gratitude, Fr. Pedro Arrupe, a former Superior General of the Society of Jesus, who founded JRS on this day in 1980, as a response to the cries and plight of the ‘boat’ people, who were fleeing war and persecution in South- East Asia. The day also happens to be the 109th birth anniversary of Fr Arrupe.
World Refugee Day Middle East: beating the odds

Beirut, 22 June 2016 -- The Syrian conflict is in its sixth year. According to the UN refugee agency (UNHCR), there are today 4.8 million Syrians who are refugees and an additional 6.5 million are displaced within Syria itself. More than half of these (52%) are children. Tasnim, is one of them. This eight-year old child today lives in Lebanon with her family

Message from Fr. Michael Zammit sj, the Regional Director of Jesuit Refugee Service (MENA) on the occasion of World Refugee Day
On  World Refugee Day Fr.Zammit  emphasizes the need to walk with refugees
‘Doctor Honoris Causa’ was conferred on the Jesuit Refugee Service by the University of Saint Joseph Beirut Lebanon. JRS Regional Director, Fr. Michael Zammit received the doctorate on behalf of the JRS, at an impressive ceremony on June 17th, 2016 in Beirut.
Recent stories
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Syria: JRS condemns every form of violence
Beirut, 3 May 2016 – Jesuit Refugee Service is unequivocal in condemning every form of violence- and particularly violence on civilian populations. Nonviolence, we believe, is the ONLY way for a sustainable and universal peace.
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Global: faith leaders urge Cameron and Obama to help Syrian refugees
Rome, 22 April 2016 – President Obama is in the UK for talks with Prime Minister Cameron regarding the upcoming 23 June EU referendum to decide Britain's membership in the EU. They will also discuss the fight to oust the Islamic State. In this letter below, 28 faith based leaders including representatives from the Christian, Hindu, Jewish and Muslim religions call the two leaders to consider Syria in these talks.
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Syria: Fr Frans lives on as a beacon of hope
(Beirut) April 7, 2016 — Jesuit Father Frans van der Lugt was killed in Homs, Syria, on April 7th 2014. Frans was a healer — he touched the broken spirits of a battered people; he did not care for himself, if someone was physically sick, he did all he could to make them well again. Fr Frans is a beacon of hope; not only for the people of Syria — for whom he gave up his life — but for people everywhere who yearn for a new dawn, a better tomorrow.
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Lebanon: get all children off the waiting list
Jbeil, 12 October 2015 – "The [Syrian] children used to fight when they played. It was all they knew," said Catherine Mora, a Syrian refugee and teacher at the JRS centre in Jbeil. Yet in one year, Catherine has seen these children change drastically. After just two sessions with JRS the children have learned how to care for themselves and one another.
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Erbil, 1 September 2015 -- A young Iraqi woman who fled ISIS with her family talks about her struggles in a camp for displaced people, and how her faith has evolved because of her ordeal.
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Praying with Refugees: education enables self-sufficiency
Washington, DC, 3 June 2015 – "Education is a key in combating the evil of hatred, violence and war," says the Jesuit Refugee Service International Director Peter Balleis SJ. "It is important to get [displaced and refugee] children into school. It is important to keep learning, it is a form of healing in the midst of conflict."
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Malta-Libya: no right to health
Valletta, 28 May 2015 – The poor conditions in places of detention in Libya often lead to illness among the detainees, especially respiratory tract and skin infections. However the asylum seekers interviewed said healthcare was a luxury few, if any, were allowed. Sometimes lotion was given for scabies. However, in most cases, those who were ill, even seriously ill, were not treated. They said merely asking for medical care often met with taunts or punishment and some migrants were simply abandoned to die of their illness. Once again, their words are consistent with the findings of human rights organisations.
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Malta-Libya: 'this is my country; I do what I like'
Valletta, 21 May 2015 – The asylum seekers interviewed were not always certain who was imprisoning them, even if the guards wore military fatigues, as members of militia groups sometimes wear them too. However the common denominator of the treatment they received in all places of detention was the impunity with which their captors behaved. In a word, the guards could do exactly as they pleased – taunt, torture, rape, even kill – without being apparently accountable to anybody.
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