Syrian refugee narratives: "We had been trying to avoid leaving our country but eventually we had no other choice"

Mostafa is a seven month-old baby from El-Sheikh Miskeen, a small village near Dara’a. Enass Abu Khalaf-Tuffaha/MSFMostafa is a seven month-old baby from El-Sheikh Miskeen, a small village near Dara’a. He arrived at Zaatari camp a month ago with his father, mother and other five siblings.

Mostafa is a seven month-old baby from El-Sheikh Miskeen, a small village near Dara’a. He arrived at Zaatari camp a month ago with his father, mother and other five siblings. Mustafa’s mother, Om Mostafa, shared their story with us.

“Leaving our home and belongings was the last option we had. We had been trying to avoid leaving our country but eventually we had no other choice. We knew what a refugee camp means, it’s not some nice hotel, it’s in the middle of nowhere!

“We came to Jordan to keep our children safe. If it was up to me and my husband, we wouldn’t have left, even if we ran the risk of being killed in Syria. We’re adults and we know how to manage but we simply couldn’t put the lives of our children in danger any longer.

“For months we had been subjected to bombings, airstrikes and fire clashes. We never knew if we would survive the night and each sunrise, it was as if we had been reborn. My children are still having nightmares up to date; they remember the noise of military planes.

“We have contact with some family members in Syria and the messages that come through are so confusing. Some relatives tell us the security situation is getting better while other say its becoming more dangerous. We don’t know what to do anymore. We can only wait and be patient till this crisis ends but I fear that could take years!

“Ever since our arrival at Zaatari camp, my children have been constantly sick for different reasons. We brought Mostafa came to the MSF hospital because of a high fever. The doctors are still checking him up to see why he is so ill. Mostafa also suffers from asthma and has difficulties breathing because of the dust in the camp.

“Despite the difficult conditions in the camp, we’re grateful to have access to child health care here. The MSF doctors and nurses are doing a good job for our children.”