Category: Appeals

A holiday far from home: Eid al-Fitr on Iraq’s front lines

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A mother holds a young child while people walk behind them in a desert landscape

On 6 and 7 July, around a billion people – approximately a seventh of the world’s population – are celebrating Eid al-Fitr.

Celebrations will take place across the world – from the UK to Russia, India and beyond. Marking the end of Ramadan, the holiday celebrates the power of family and community.

People may also give thanks for having the strength to endure difficulties in their lives.

But this year, unprecedented numbers of families are far from home on Eid al-Fitr.

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From Syria to Germany – Leen’s story

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You might remember Leen.

Last November we met her at her lowest point. At just 16 years old, she had fled her home in Damascus with her younger sister and mother.

Leen was exhausted and shaken from her journey but relieved to have reached temporary safety at a refugee camp on the border of Macedonia and Greece.

Months later, Leen got back in touch with us via Facebook to say she had finally arrived in Germany. We recently travelled to Berlin to find out how she is settling into her new life.

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The ‘treasure’ carpets helping Syrians rebuild their lives

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Syrian-carpets-blog“Syrian carpets are like treasure for us, their designs are so elaborate.”

Head down and pencil in hand, Manal is putting the finishing touches to her colourful carpet.

It may only be in the design stage at the moment, but the 33-year-old will soon begin stitching her carpet for real.

As she will tell you, this is no ordinary carpet. This is an authentic Syrian carpet – known the world over for their intricate designs and handmade quality.

“Syrian carpets are so beautiful and are part of our culture,” said Manal. “You can’t find carpets like them anywhere else in the world.” More

Volunteers on the front lines

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Two Red Cross volunteers hold and comfort an injured child

What happens when the day you have spent years preparing for suddenly comes without warning?

In April, Red Cross volunteer Jorge Chele Santana was spending a peaceful afternoon with his father, wife and son.

Suddenly the ground shook violently and the family rushed outside. They didn’t realise at first that their home town of Manta, Ecuador, was near the epicentre of a major earthquake.

The city was hit hard and help was needed immediately.

“I remember calming down my 17-year-old son, who also happens to be a Red Cross volunteer,” Jorge said.

“I looked him in the eye and said ‘son, it’s time to show what we’ve prepared for, what we’ve been trained to do and remember why we are part of the Red Cross.’

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Seven days that shook Syria

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Syria-AleppoIt has been a traumatic week in Syria – more so than usual. Numerous attacks on hospitals in Aleppo have robbed people of vital health care and highlighted a flagrant disregard for humanitarian law.  Find out what happened and our response.

It began on 27 April with an attack on an Aleppo hospital and the death of a leading doctor that hit the headlines.

The Al Quds hospital in eastern Aleppo was completely destroyed. The hospital was supported by the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) and Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF).

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Letters from a crisis: goodbye to new friends

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Having spent a month in a refugee camp in northern Greece, Gwen Wilson is now preparing to say goodbye.  

Some of her refugee volunteers have decided to apply for asylum in Greece. Others are still hoping the borders will open.

Writing to you for the final time, retired nurse Gwen gives her impressions on life on the front line of Europe’s refugee crisis.  

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