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Morocco not a 'heaven' place for Syrian refugees

Syrian Refugees | 2019-03-05 16:20:28
Morocco not a 'heaven' place for Syrian refugees
   Syrian refugee with brain dysfunction can not get health care in Morocco

(Zaman Al Wasl)- From Morocco, a Syrian housewife narrats chapters of her story, which may summarize the situation of ‘Syrian diaspora’ and its tragic dimensions, especially in countries where the Syrian refugees can not obtain a residence or a job opportunity.

Zahra Mohamed, mother of three, the oldest has a serious health problem, told Zaman al-Wasl that her condition in Morocco is on the brink of collapsing, due to the complexity of their situation and the status of their family, considering the passports validity expiration is approaching, which leads this family to serious consequences.

The least of which is the inability to conduct any transactions or review any departments, including the inability to renew the lease of the modest apartment in which she lives in, and even the inability to receive the financial "assistance" that comes from the UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR).

The graduate of Journalism School has tried to work in the field by cooperating with more than one of the opposition media outlets. 

The situation of the Syrians in Morocco is highly complicated. Sometimes, its impossible to obtain a document that allows the Syrian a legal residence, she says.

It is also more difficult to find a job that is covers their needs, the Syrian has to adapt to this situation and to figure it out on his own, willingly or unwillingly. Thus he must solve the impossible equation embodied by the Syrian proverb: "Don’t touch what is not eaten, don’t eat what is already touched, then eat whatever you wish to the fulfilement."

She said that the approaching expiration of the family passports and the failure to obtain residency papers, despite their repeated attempts, would make their situation more like the "disarticulated", and perhaps the untouchables, whom most of people avoid dealing with them. Because they do not have the valid documents proving their identity, then the road that has been paved with obstacles will become a closed road “After five years of the hardships and struggle in Morocco.”

Zahra's family entered Morocco illegally in 2013 where she spent about 5 bitter month which ended up being robbed their life savings, by the smuggler who smuggled them inside the country. She said that the most tragic suffering they endure is the case of her eldest daughter, who is suffering from a brain atrophy, which requires high medical care and follow-up, which she rarely receives few of them, which is understandable compared to the conditions of a country like Morocco, the citizens themselves are burdened with multiple healthcare problems.

She recalled, how her husband had repeatedly tried to get a job, to support his family, and to contribute in changing the stereotypical image of the "Syrian Beggar", which was constructed in the minds Moroccans, due to the multitude of gypsies who begged under the name of the Syrians. However, the husband did not succeed in finding a job.

Someday, when they thought that finally their father will start winnig their bread, after one of the parties financed him to start a project to sell Syrian food, the dream crushed at the rock of the morrocan body that refused to permit the father the license for the project, where the official said:
 “We permitted you to live in our country, now you want us to permit you to work too ?!" 

The father replied: "Isn’t work better and more honorable than begging for help and drawing people's compassion and sympathy?" But his answer did not change the official’s mind.

Of course, Zahra Mohammed and her family have tried over the past years to get out of the bottleneck where they were stuck, but in vain. She has even tried to cross from the Melilla gate to Europe more than once, but she failed. Her sick elder daughter stumbled and suspended her youngest daughter at the gate, and it became harder for her to cross over. Officials there knew she was a journalist and worked to convey the voice and image of refugees and immigrants and their suffering.

In addition, the family has knocked the doors of "resettlement" programs, but has not received any answer or a solution despite its precarious situation and the dangerous situation of the elder daughter. Although those working on the refugee files occasionally try to communicate with her and to present her experience as examplary "Survivalist Syrian refugee". “But about what “survivalist” they are talking about ?! the model they are viewing is collapsing...” She said

She went on to discuss the painful details of her life. Her daughter's need for special equipment and care, as well as her need for heating even during the summer, in a country where the electricity tariff is so high, while the monthly financial assistance paid by the UNHCR is barely sufficient for simple needs of a sick child, who was making "strange" sounds while we were talking to her mother on the phone .. sounds that may be familiar to the people who suffer from brain atrophy.

She said that the Moroccan people have good hearts and love to help, but the Syrian by nature refuses to be dependent on others and is always looking for self-supporting job. The work order is related to obtaining a residence, and obtaining a residence for a Syrian is very difficult and complicated.

"The obstacles hindering the syrian refugee are not limited only to jobs, but they reach education. The doors of Moroccan universities are closed to the Syrians who have no residency, so the Syrian refugee is stuck in a vicious circle as it is not possible to join the educational field nor the professional field.

Zahra Mohammed made an appeal through Zaman al-Wasl to the concerned parties to reconsider the status of the refugees and the other refugee Syrians who are on the land of Morocco. Especially those whose papers have expired or are near, are in fact in critical situations and should be dealt with away from the bureaucracy and its routine.

She concluded that the Syrian families, that lost some of their sons, their properties and even their memories, in order to free themselves from the injustice and to seek salvation from the tyranny, the international community should not stand armscrossed watching them lose what is left for them. The Syrians set fire to freedom, they are not responsible for igniting the wars of the Agency and the international retaliation wars that deepened the wounds of the injured and burdened them.

Zaman Al Wasl
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