First Person: Five Things I Learned in Syrian Refugee Camps
The crisis is even bigger than thought, and the conditions are explosive.
I recently spent a few weeks at this camp along the Turkey-Syria border with my Syrian colleague Nousha Kabawat, the program officer for Syria at the Center for World Religions, Diplomacy, and Conflict Resolution at George Mason University, and six other volunteers who operated the summer camp.
These were deeply traumatized children—some 75 of them were orphans—and we designed their activities to provide enjoyment and educational instruction. Many of these children yearned for the kind of school learning that most children take for granted, but which is not generally available in refugee camps. We also brought food and gifts with us.
I was heartbroken to witness bereavement and sometimes even the first expressions of radicalization and cynicism in these kids. Still,