Sabah Qabbani peers out the window of her apartment building in Amman. She’s been living here for months now, but the city still doesn’t feel like home.
For Qabbani, 39, home will always be Daraa, Syria. As the conflict rages on, returning to that home begins to feel more like a dream. She reminisces about her house that no longer stands because it was burned down. After her husband and son did not return after being arrested, Qabbani knew things were becoming too dangerous.
She fled with her children into neighboring Jordan in the middle of winter and moved into an apartment in the heart of Amman. The apartment is small and largely vacant. There’s no furniture except for a few mattresses. The refrigerator is in a bad condition as is the washing machine. Water is available only once a week.
She begins every morning thinking how she will get enough food to feed her children. “My kids, as any other kids, want a normal life,” said Qabbani. “I couldn’t even afford to buy my child a school uniform until a teacher at his school gave him money and told him to go buy it.”
Zakat Foundation of America (ZF) has been working with Syrian refugees such as Qabbani’s family for the past couple of years. ZF representatives in Jordan first met Qabbani earlier this year. Since then, their family has been receiving relief in the form of food packages, clothes, and sponsorship of her daughter’s tuition through ZF’s orphan sponsorship program (OSP).
“At the beginning of Ramadan, we barely had any food,” said Qabbani. “My children could smell the neighbors cooking. That’s when ZF brought the food package. I was very grateful.”
On Eid, ZF team members visited Qabbani’s residence and dropped off clothes and candy for her children. The children were jumping and dancing with excitement. It was the first time in over three years they had touched new clothes.
Qabbani is satisfied that at least all her children are attending school and receiving an education. Her dream is to improve their lives and eventually return to her homeland. She understands that dream may not come true any time soon, but is thankful for the support she receives through ZF.
“Whenever I tell the children ZF is coming,” says Qabbani, “they wait at the door for you guys.”
Want to help displaced families such as Sabah’s? Support the Syrian relief campaign here.