60 Million People Uprooted From Their Homes in 2015

60 Million People Uprooted From Their Homes in 2015

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The year 2015 saw a record number of people fleeing their homes, with more than 60 million people uprooted by wars, conflict and persecution in countries ranging from Syria to South Sudan and Afghanistan, according to the United Nations.

Worldwide that means one person in every 122 has been forced to flee their home, displaced within their own country of forced to move to another country.

Here are two Syrian stories and their hopes for 2016:

Sandy Khabbazeh, 26, a Syrian now living in Oakland, New Jersey, United States

“I am from Aleppo City. Our house is on the line between ISIS (Islamic State) and the Syrian government. If the Syrian army wants to attack ISIS, they put tanks near our house. When ISIS wants to attack the Syrian government, they come to our neighborhood. My family is stuck there. It’s like a nightmare, but it’s true.

One time ISIS went next door and put snipers there. When I was going to school, a sniper shot at me three times. I was lucky he missed me.

My mom came a couple of times to America and she loved America so she named me Sandy. It is an American name because she wanted me to come back here. And here I am. Her dream came true.

I came here as a student. I came because I’m an ambitious woman. I want opportunity to build my future. My dream was to work with NASA. But I’m struggling financially because education here is so, so expensive.

I’m a civil engineer, and I’m working a job for people who graduated from high school. With that money, I trained to become a concrete inspector certificate.

One day I went to a church. The pastor and I we started talking, and he told me: “I will help you.” Until now, the church keeps sponsoring me and they offered me a place to stay.

My hope is in 2016 to be reunited with my family here in America and to be a good American. I love America.”

Ragheda, 30, a Syrian living in Mafraq, Jordan

“My life in Syria was good. Not very rich, but easy. My husband was in construction but was injured and cannot move. I am the head of my household.

Why did I have to leave in 2012? It was, simply, the war. Syrian Air Force strikes next to the house. My daughter suffers from post-traumatic stress. She frequently has night terrors. She is 10 years old.

I live in a very good neighborhood in Mafraq (northern Jordan) where my Jordanian neighbors are very kind. But I would like to be in a place where I don’t need anyone to help me. I receive cash assistance from UNHCR, but it is barely enough to cover the rent.

I am currently four months behind in rent. I hope that in 2016 I can catch up on my payments and be able to pay rent on time. I would also like to find psychological help for my daughter.”

Thomson Reuters Foundation contributed to this article.

60 Million People Uprooted From Their Homes in 2015


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