Syrian refugee family refuses shelters, lives in a van near Damascus

Refugee and Migrant Crisis

Syrian refugee family refuses shelters, lives in a van near Damascus

The scale of the conflict in Syria is hard to comprehend. There are 6.5 million internally displaced people; another 5 million refugees are in host countries.

Addressing displacement is integral in response to the crisis. But one family in Damascus refuses to move into shelters or other facilities.

CCTV’s Xu Dezhi finds out why.

Syrian refugee family refuses shelters, lives in a van near Damascus

Syrian refugee family refuses shelters, lives in a van near Damascus

The scale of the conflict in Syria is hard to comprehend. There are 6.5 million internally displaced people; another 5 million refugees are in host countries. Addressing displacement is integral in response to the crisis. But one family in Damascus refuses to move into shelters or other facilities. CCTV’s Xu Dezhi finds out why.
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Mohammad used to make a living by trading auto accessories in eastern rural Damascus. When war broke out in 2012, the family left their home for a mobile one.

Mohammad was injured when a mortar bomb hit this park in 2014. He’s out of a job, while his wife works in a shop earning 2,000 Syrian pounds per week, that’s only about $9.

Life is tough, but Mohammad tries to keep his children spirited. There are many shelters for displaced Syrians. Amenities may be basic, but it beats living in a van. Mohammad, however, thinks differently.

For the U.N. the Syrian government and other humanitarian agencies, this on-going war has already created more than enough pressure.

There are more than 1,200 shelters across the war-torn country. And more community centers are being set up. But these are not long term solutions.

But for now, Mohammad and his family must adapt to this life in a van. He told us, it’s better to get used to it, than to worry about life every day.