Maximpact Blog

Refugee Olympic Athletes Play for Medals in Tokyo

Syrian swimmer Yusra Mardini trains at The Olympic Training Center Hamburg / Schleswig-Holstein, the support and service facility for all Olympic athletes from this region of Germany. 2020 (Photo courtesy Yusra Mardini) Posted for media use on Instagram

For the second time in its history, a Refugee Olympic Athletes Team is competing at an Olympic Games. With members from 11 countries, including Syria, South Sudan, Iran and Afghanistan, this team does not march behind one country’s flag, and no national anthem is played for them.

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Life During Lockdown: Blessing or Curse?

Aisha, left, and her daughter Sundos, both resettled from Syria in Northern Ireland, at Warrenpoint Municipal Park, County Down, Northern Ireland, December 2020 (Photo by Brian McAlinden)

If anyone had told Aisha and her teenaged daughter a year ago that everybody would be locked down in his house, and the biggest cities in the world empty and looking like ghost towns, they would have said he is crazy!!! “However here we are,” she says, “all trying to adapt to our new situation.”

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Syria at ‘High Risk’ for Virus Outbreak

Wracked by civil war for nine years, Syria is at “high risk” of being unable to contain the coronavirus COVID-19 pandemic, the UN Special Envoy for the country said Monday. In a video conference with UN Security Council members, Geir Pedersen called for a “complete, immediate nationwide ceasefire” to enable an all-out-effort to counter the virus.

Wracked by civil war for nine years, Syria is at “high risk” of being unable to contain the coronavirus COVID-19 pandemic, the UN Special Envoy for the country said Monday. In a video conference with UN Security Council members, Geir Pedersen called for a “complete, immediate nationwide ceasefire” to enable an all-out-effort to counter the virus.

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Displaced Syrians Sleep Rough in Bitter Storm

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Um Rami, 25, fled her hometown of Ma’rat al-Numan, Syria after attacks last week killed her husband. Along with many others from her home town, she has been forced to stay on the outskirts of a refugee camp in the mountains of northwest Syria along the Turkish border. “I am petrified of the dark, my heart trembles whenever I hear any sound at night or I hear anyone passing by my tent,” she said.

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Syrian Refugees End Ramadan With Joy and Longing

Caroline Kennedy; Sara, a Syrian refugee studying to be a hair stylist; and Abir, a student in Maximpact's Online Language class; Portadown, Northern Ireland, April 17, 2019 (Photo courtesy Caroline Kennedy via email)

Muslims around the world celebrated the Eid-al-Fitr religious holiday on Tuesday, marking the end of Islam’s holy month of Ramadan, during which the faithful abstain from eating and drinking during daylight hours, pray and practice charitable giving.

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Redesigning Refugee Camps for the Digital Age

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A Syrian refugee living in a Jordanian camp, or an immigrant to the United States, will have multiple associations with place enabled by digital technology,” says Professor Rana Abudayyeh from the University of Tennessee’s College of Architecture and Design. “They may live in a new environment, but they carry archival memories and images of their home with them on smart devices…

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Turkey Helps Syrian Refugee Girls Avoid Child Marriage

“Young girls who have fled conflict and instability in rural Syria in search of a more peaceful and dignified life in Turkey can find themselves still at risk from a harmful traditional practice their families have brought from their homeland,” warn three women and a man writing for the Turkish Red Crescent …

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UK: 10,000 Refugees Reunited With Their Families

Graffiti welcomes refugees, London, UK, 2015 (Photo by Duncan C) Creative commons license via Flickr

Ten thousand people separated by war and persecution have been reunited with their families in the United Kingdom under a British Red Cross and International Organization for Migration family reunification program, the agencies declared last week. Ninety percent of the arrivals have been women and children joining husbands and fathers.

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Refugee Gardens: Hope Planted in Exile

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In this, the eighth year of the Syrian War, life in Syrian refugee camps is undermined by trauma, poverty and homesickness. Yet in Jordan’s Zaatari camp, green sprouts of hope are shooting up.

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EU Helps Turkey Shelter Four Million Refugees

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Almost four million registered refugees live in Turkey – Syrians, Iraqis, Afghans, Iranians, and Somalis, among others – making Turkey the country with the highest number of refugees in the world. Almost half of them are children.

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EU Helps Turkey Shelter Four Million Refugees

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Eyad and his family fled their home in Syria’s Aleppo countryside in February 2017, during the Bashar al Assad regime’s recapture of the city. “The bombing was unbearable,” he explains. “I saw death with my own eyes. I don’t want my children to witness this.”

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Maximpact Offers Language Help for Refugees

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“I want to help” is “Ana bady asa’ed” in Arabic, the language of much of Syria. This simple translation illustrates the steep learning curve Syrian refugees face trying to re-start their lives in an English-speaking country…

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Jordan’s Refugees Must Drink

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Jordan, one of the world’s driest countries, is dumping much of its water into the sand – allowing 76 billion liters a year to flow from broken pipes, according to an assessment by the nonprofit aid organization Mercy Corps.

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Israel, Jordan, Palestine Unite for Jordan River

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The Jordan River, famous in story and song, is threatened by water diversion and contamination. In this arid region torn by political and religious differences, NGOs from Israel, Jordan and Palestine are cooperating to restore the river – unity forged on the anvil of fear for their life-giving waterway.

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