Life in Aleppo: Struggling with grief, desperate for work

With help from Americans, Omar fights to rebuild his family’s life in war-torn Syria

March 20, 2017

Despite a war that has raged in Syria for more than six years, Omar pressed on — supporting his wife and children as a blacksmith who specializes in making traditional Arabic designs.

In July 2016, the conflict moved closer to their home. Omar was forced to stop working. Their neighborhood in eastern Aleppo — a world heritage site that now lies in ruins — came under siege. After a mortar strike killed his only son, a grieving Omar, his wife and four daughters fled west.

Omar and his family now live in a UNHCR-supported shelter in Aleppo, along with 50,000 other Syrians trapped inside their country. Eager to resume work, Omar’s job search has been unsuccessful — and his hope is quickly turning to despair.

I can’t seem to come up with a plan for the future.
All I can do now is stay in this shelter and survive, with my family.

Like Omar, shop owners Hrad and Mohamad were forced to flee eastern Aleppo. They recently returned to the site of the once vibrant and bustling market where they worked.

Meet Hrad and Mohamad:

Every time I come here,
I feel upset and I leave.

To help the people of Aleppo recover, UNHCR, the UN Refugee Agency, is offering vocational training and start-up business grants. With steadfast and generous USA for UNHCR donor support, the UN Refugee Agency will provide the humanitarian assistance, services and hope that struggling Syrians need to rebuild their lives.

Here’s how you can help …

Becoming a USA for UNHCR monthly donor is the most convenient, effective and efficient way to help Syrians struggling to survive a war now in its seventh year. Start helping improve and save lives with a monthly gift today.