Heyam al-Nehar, a woman who lost two children to the brutal war in Syria, finds peace in her pigeons in a refugee camp in Idlib province, northwestern Syria.
Moving from Aleppo to the Turkish border due to attacks by the Bashar Assad regime, al-Nehar said she was still grateful for her life, despite everything she had been through.
“At least I have a tent to live on. I moved with my pigeons. In fact, I moved them from Aleppo before my children,” she told the Anadolu Agency (AA) and added “I am very happy with them”.
Al-Nehar allows his pigeons to go outside when it is hot outside and keep them indoors when it is cold.
“I spend my day with my pigeons. I feed them and find peace with them,” she said.
Losing two of her children to the regime’s attacks, al-Nehar said she found it difficult to take care of her pigeons in the camp environment.
“Either way, I will remain a happy person. My children and my family are with me. Even if it’s not like it used to be in our village, life goes on, ”she continued.
For years, the Assad regime ignored the needs and security of the Syrian people, eyeing only new territorial gains and crushing the opposition. In pursuit of this goal, the regime has for years bombarded vital facilities such as schools, hospitals and residential areas, displacing nearly half of the country’s population, while adopting policies to return them. life even more difficult.
Since December 2019, nearly a million people have fled the Assad regime’s offensive on Idlib, considered the last opposition stronghold, with many seeking refuge in overcrowded tent camps near the Turkish border. A fragile truce was negotiated between Moscow and Ankara in March 2020 in response to months of fighting by Russian-backed forces, but the regime still frequently carries out attacks on civilians, preventing most from returning home and forcing them to search. Security. in makeshift camps.
The already difficult life of Syrians living in tent camps in rural Idlib has become much more difficult due to recent winter conditions. As the humanitarian catastrophe in the region has reached new heights, people are trying to survive by sheltering under trees or in shaking tents built over mud and puddles.
Launched on January 13, 2020, in coordination with the Turkish Presidency of Disaster and Emergency Management (AFAD), the aid campaign “We are together, we side with Idlib” received major support from other Turkish aid organizations, including the Turkish Red Crescent. (Kızılay), Humanitarian Aid Foundation (IHH), Sadakataşı Association, Türkiye Diyanet Foundation and many others. In addition to aid organizations, the Turks have also made significant contributions to the project, providing more than TL 1 billion ($ 140 million) in cash so far.
In June 2020, Erdoğan pledged to fund the construction of 50 briquette houses for civilians in Idlib, saying Turkey plans to meet the target over the summer so that the shelters are ready for the refugees. before winter arrives. First Lady Emine Erdoğan also donated funds to subsidize 57 briquette houses. Although Turkish officials and charities continue their efforts to provide humanitarian aid, there are still thousands more in need of urgent help from the international community.
Losing their loved ones to the 10-year civil war, displaced Syrians who recently moved into briquette houses are grateful for this major development in their lives, while dreaming of a better life.
Kayseri donates 538 houses
At the same time, contributing to Turkey’s overall efforts in the region, the central province of Kayseri has funded the construction of 538 briquette houses called “Goodness Houses” through the Diyanet Foundation of Turkey (TDV).
As refugees continue to settle in houses already built, new ones are being built every day to provide shelter for the entire refugee community.
Speaking to AA, Sahin Güven, the mufti of Kayseri, said that so far 10,000 houses have been built in the area.
“The houses consist of two rooms, a kitchen, a bathroom and a toilet. All the necessary infrastructure is under construction. We cover the buildings with concrete and the entrance doors are made of steel. They are built in such a way that a family can live comfortably, ”said Güven and added that the original plan has been expanded to provide more space in each house.
“We want to improve the quality of buildings every day to make them more sustainable,” he said, highlighting the suffering of refugees for 10 years under heavy rains and flooding in tent camps.
Kayseri philanthropists are also building two mosques in the area.
So far, Istanbul has become the province with the most contributions to the project, followed by Kayseri, Konya and Ankara, respectfully.
“Our goal is to beat Istanbul. We are competing for humanitarian aid,” Güven said.