During our first week here, we had the opportunity to visit a Syrian Refugee camp north of Amman. For most of us students, if not all, it was an experience like none other. We sat in a shelter, visited a clinic, asked a hundred questions, and took even more pictures. We had the chance to see these people not as statistics on the news, but as names and faces and stories. We were welcomed by the community into their homes and shops and narratives. Our curiosity was met with patience and humility, our confusion with warmth and grace.In pale honesty I admit I still don’t know how to respond. I hoped to walk away from that experience with some profound sense of gratitude or something, but so far no luck. Just more questions, less answers, and this reflection.
It’s not as heavy as we thought it’d be, They seem to say, holding the weight of the world in their hands. There is food, and there is work, and there is medicine, They say. But there is not enough, and we were exiled from our homes by the bullets of our own people, They don’t say. Our children are cold, our children are hungry, We don’t know if we will ever go home, If we will grow and live and die in this tin metal shack, They don’t say. Instead, Alhamdulillah, They say. Praise be to God.