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Syrian residents in Yemen affected by Saudi-led war

Syrian Refugees | 2018-12-04 09:07:00
Syrian residents in Yemen affected by Saudi-led war
(Zaman Al Wasl)- The Operation Decisive Storm launched in 2015 by Saudi Arabia against Houthis rebel group in Yemen has affected large number of Syrians residing there, who were students and pupils, others different businesses and trades, in addition to other professions such as doctors and engineers.

Two months after the military operation, a decision was issued by the Saudi authorities allowing Syrians residing in Yemen to enter Saudi Arabia without a visa.

In June 2015, the first batch of Syrian families, entered Saudi Arabia crossing the border deposit of Al-Tawal. The remainder entered crossing the border deposit of Al-Wadia, bringing the total number of families to 400 in the Jizan area in the far south west of the Kingdom. Saudi authorities allocated them hotels to stay for free, provided them with meals for the first months, and some in-kind assistance from various Saudi associations. Any Syrian who was able to find suitable work, left the hotel with his family, to start on his own especially engineers, and diploma holders. Some traveled to other countries. Only about 200 families stayed.

One of the Syrians living in Jazan said: "We stayed at these hotels when we arrived in Saudi Arabia, meanwhile we tried to find simple jobs that would cover our basic expenses, because there was no financial assistance from any side. After six months, all the services provided to us in hotels, were cut off, including meals that were distributed three times a day. "

The source who reserved revealing his name to Zaman Al-Wasl, added "Even the associations that used to send the families an aid of baskets of food, have stopped. Housing is all what we have left. Recently, we have been subjected to several attempts to get us out of it, by restricting us with hours for leaving and returning to the hotels. Also, by other means like cutting water and electricity for many days. Now they are talking about the expulsion decision, to get us out soon from these hotels. We do not know then where to live or what to do."

"We now have a visitor ID that we renew every six months and pay a renewal fee of 100 SR. This means that a family of 5 people will pay 1000 SR a year. Some of us are unable to find work, some are elders and do not have enough money. They live without renewing the residence ID because they couldn’t provide these amounts of money that accumulate annually” He explains the struggle.

"Two years ago, a decision was issued in the Kingdom to prevent any new students from entering public schools, enrolling only in private schools. There are more than 50 Syrian students in Jizan who did not enter school during these two years because of the high costs of the education in the private section. Also, no high school graduate student is admitted to university, because they hold a visitor card” He adds.

"Most of our documents are expired, because there is no Syrian consulate in Saudi Arabia, adding to that the high costs of obtaining new passports, also the problems with the registration of newborns and their travel visas. The great suffering of the elderly. They have no income and no ability to work and no one provides them with any assistance " Our interlocutor goes on to further explaining. 

Speaking of health, although there is a government decision to treat the Syrians free of charge, there are centers and hospitals that harass them, according to the source. in addition the Syrian families are split between the two countries, some of them want to return to Yemen to join their families, but they are not allowed to do so.

The spokesman conveyed the wish of most of these Syrians that the Saudi authorities consider their situation to be addressed by allowing children to attend school, access to basic medical services, facilitate their access to residency, renewal and exemption from fees, and allow young people to obtain work permits.

"We are not allowed to communicate with international organizations or agencies as UNHCR and therefore these agencies do not provide us with any services” He concluded

Zaman Al Wasl
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