U.N. program eases hardship for Syrian refugee women

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Women and Girls Oasis is a U.N. program which has helped more than 700 Syrian women who are refugees in Jordan’s Zaatari camp.

Ghada Ali, coordinator of the program, said “the aim is to make women capable whether economically or socially,” and to provide “social and emotional support.”

“We also support them by giving them new skills, such as learning how to sew or hairdressing,” Ali added.

A Syrian woman by the name of Hajer earns her income in the camp as a professional tailor.

“I started working, I started getting to know the girls in here, we are comfortable here. We are psychologically better here,” she said. “Now we can earn an income when before we didn’t have any means of making money,” she added.

Another woman, Umm Firas, said she is living “comfortably” but “nothing can substitute her homeland.”

“We wish if we can return back to Syria. Here, while we are comfortable, our country, land, home, jobs, our life is there [Syria]. Yes we came here to work but this will never be a substitute the place where we were.”

Umm Firas, who tailored clothes in Syria, said her profession reminds her of her home country.

The tiny desert kingdom of Jordan is now home to more than 500,000 Syrian refugees, including some 120,000 in the Zataari camp.

More than 115,000 people have been killed and over 2.1 million forced to flee - many to Lebanon, Iraq, Turkey, and Jordan - since Syria’s conflict began.

The total number of Syrian refugees is expected to reach 3.5 million by the end of the year, according to the U.N.

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