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.
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.
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
Dr JESUIT REFUGEE SERVICE ‘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.
World must open hearts, ears to Syria crisis (Washington, D.C.) May 4, 2016 – Fr. Cedric Prakash S.J. has witnessed a lifetime’s worth of suffering in only a few months of working in the Jesuit Refugee Service Middle East and North Africa. Yet he remains an “incorrigible optimist” that conditions in the region — and the circumstances that created them — can and will improve. Read More >>>
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. Read More >>>
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. Read More >>>
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. Read More >>>
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. Read More >>>
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." Read More >>>
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. Read More >>>
Jordan: finding leadership and purpose in education Amman, 25 May 2015 – Ismail, a refugee from Sudan now living in Jordan, shares with us his story. Ismail writes that after enrolling in a Jesuit Refugee Service education program, he rediscovered hope. “I feel as if this opportunity has saved my life,” he says, “life has many opportunities in store. Read More >>>
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. Read More >>>