Syria: let this fourth anniversary of the war be the last
Beirut, 20 March 2015 – We rang in the New Year with whatever hope we could muster from inside and out, from our families, our communities, even from our enemies. We scraped it together, and we shared it among us in small rations, barely enough to go around. We prayed and dreamed that this would be the beginning of the end of the horror; that 2015 would put the past four years behind us and bring the long-awaited end to the blood on our hands – the lost fathers, the grieving mothers, the broken children, the destroyed cities and the squandered aspirations.
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Syria: water, the simplest gift of all
Homs, 23 December 2014 – Since the ceasefire for the Old City of Homs was signed earlier in the year, Homs has no longer occupied the news headlines from Syria. Recovering and restoring the Old City to any semblance of its former self will take years of reconstruction. In the meantime, those who are able to, have returned to their homes to try rebuild what has been destroyed and reclaim their property.
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Syria: examining the role of women from a humanitarian perspective in response to conflict
Syria, 13 October 2014 – During the anti-apartheid years in South Africa, the phrase "strike a woman and you strike a rock" was popularised by the growing involvement of women in the struggle. In Syria, the role of women has taken on a less aggressive, but no less significant role.
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Lebanon: space to learn
Beirut, 4 July 2014 – How can a country educate every child when its population has expanded by 25% in less than four years? Lebanon, a country of four million in 2010 is now hosting more than a million Syrian refugees, roughly half are school-aged. A country that is roughly the size of Delaware, or quarter the size of Switzerland – is at its widest point, only 70 km across.
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Jordan: space to be together
Irbid, 27 June 2014 – In an unassuming building on a quiet street in Irbid, you'll find Syrian mothers dressed alike in heavy black coats and hijabs chatting around a conference table over bread and coffee while their children attend kindergarten in the room next door. It's crammed, but they are used to it now, many living in crowded apartments since they arrived in Jordan.
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World Refugee Day statement: finding safe spaces together
Rome, 20 June 2014 – Today on World Refugee Day, the Jesuit Refugee Service commemorates the courage and endurance of the millions of people forced to flee their homes, and the many who welcome them into their communities. In the last 12 months, the numbers of people displaced due to conflict – more than two-thirds from Syria, South Sudan and the Central African Republic – and human rights abuses have reached 50 million. Mass displacement is at a 20 year high, on a scale not seen since the wars in former Yugoslavia.
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Video: Lebanon, space to learn
Beirut, 23 June 2014 – How can a country educate every child when its population has expanded by 25% in less than four years? To address the needs of Syrian refugee students, some Lebanese schools have two shifts to double their capacity. Others have to turn people away. In communities around the country, from the Bekaa Valley to the Mediterranean coast, the Jesuit Refugee Service is creating schools for Syrian children in areas where educational opportunities weren't previously available.
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International: Pax Christi International Peace Award 2014 given to JRS Syria
Rome,7 June 2014 – The Jesuit Refugee Service in Syria has been awarded the Pax Christi International Peace Award for 2014. The award is given to JRS for "the outstanding dedication in providing humanitarian relief to Syrians since 2011".
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Syria: working under principles of neutrality, non-violence and inclusiveness
Chicago, 15 April 2014 – Loyola University Chicago and ART WORKS Projects for Human Rights hosted the symposium, 'Sanctuary and Sustenance: Syria and the Plight of Refugees' on Monday, 7 April. Scholars, faculty, practitioners and refugees examined the current political crisis in Syria from a range of perspectives and disciplines. During the day-long symposium Angela Wells spoke on behalf of the Jesuit Refugee Service about humanitarian assistance and religious intervention.
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Syria: working under principles of neutrality, non-violence and inclusiveness
Chicago, 15 April 2014 – Loyola University Chicago and ART WORKS Projects for Human Rights hosted the symposium, 'Sanctuary and Sustenance: Syria and the Plight of Refugees' on Monday, 7 April. Scholars, faculty, practitioners and refugees examined the current political crisis in Syria from a range of perspectives and disciplines. During the day-long symposium Angela Wells spoke on behalf of the Jesuit Refugee Service about humanitarian assistance and religious intervention.
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