Wednesday, March 22, 2023
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Elena Valenciano. President of the Human Rights Subcommittee of the European Parliament *

Jordan, October 2015. Amina receives me in her humble home: two small completely bare rooms. There is only an old sofa in the living room and four mattresses on a tiny room that serves as a bedroom. Nothing else. That and four children is all that Amina has. That, and an aid of $400 for six months that the UNRWA gives (the UN agency for Palestinian refugees).

Amina is a young Syrian widow, taken refuge in Jordan and alone in the world after losing her entire family in the war. Her three youngest children, sitting on the floor and with wide eyes, listen attentively as their mother tells her tough story. A brutal testimony like so many other millions of human beings who today seek protection from persecution, violence and war, torture or death.

It is impossible for any of us to imagine the Amina's and her children's suffering and that of millions of women and children who Europe did not want to see, and still do not see. Fear, hunger, cold, thirst, homelessness, disease, hopelessness and closing doors, every day, everywhere. We cannot even get close to feeling their pain.

Serene, educated, and without the slightest hint of emotion, Amina tells us how they had to flee from the Syrian city in which they lived because the bombs had already killed almost all of their neighbours and she had four children to protect. The presence of many, many children is what most strikes you when you visit the camps in Lebanon or Jordan, or on the border with Hungary. And those who are fleeing are mainly those who do not want to risk the lives of their children.

Amina's family came to Jordan after walking a dangerous and exhausting journey. A few months after installation, the Jordanian Security snatched the papers and decided to send her husband back to Syria, as he was of Palestinian origin. There he died, tortured in Assad's dungeons, and so then Amina stood alone, undocumented, with four young children to feed and educate.

The European Union is years behind

Until two years ago, Amina and her family lived comfortably in a medium-sized city, near Damascus. They never knew poverty and they suffer "because they could not give their children what they needed." When she speaks, she not even stop at her own pain, rather that of having lost all her loved ones, her home, her country...

Amina has only 32 years old but already there is no hope. Neither the Jordanian government nor the European countries have an answer for her. She is one of the hundreds of thousands of women that the war has left alone, homeless, poor and with their children in tow.



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