"Our camp was bombed every day and the siege surrounded the camp. There was not enough food, no clean water, no electricity and death all around us in the camp.
"When you have children, you don't think that much about yourself and your needs, you just try to protect your children. We didn't have a choice. We followed the other people who were moving toward Lebanon.
"We arrived after a long and scary trip; walking, driving, hiding. We arrived at al Al-Jalil Camp. Sometimes we call it "Hell Camp." We are waiting to go back to Palestine."
~ Abdul Hafez, Palestinian refugee who fled Syria to Lebanon
As millions of Syrian, Palestinian, Iraqi and Libyan refugees risk their lives in search of safety, MECA calls on governments and individuals around the world to provide the children and families safety and meet their basic needs while working to ensure they can return home. The U.S. invasion of Iraq, the assault on Libya and the intervention in Syria created this enormous humanitarian crisis. Yet, today, less than 1,500 refugees from Syria have been admitted to the U.S. and our government pays just a fraction of what is needed to meet the needs of the refugees in Europe, Lebanon, Jordan and Turkey.
Meanwhile, Israel, the recipient of $3 billion of U.S. aid per year, is the only country bordering Syria that has not admitted people escaping the catastrophic violence. It will not allow a single one of the Palestinians who were exiled to Syria six decades ago to return to their homes, just a few hours away. Instead, Palestinians fleeing Syria are made refugees again, facing treacherous journeys, unknown destinations and uncertain futures.
Five years ago, over 600,000 Palestinians lived in Syria. Today, most of them have fled. Those remaining are displaced from their refugee camps. Hundreds of thousands of Syrian, Iraqi and Palestinian families are struggling to survive in Lebanon's twelve Palestinian refugee camps, tent cities, and cemeteries.
For 28 years, MECA has responded to the needs of children in the Middle East and to the suffering our own government has caused. We provide practical support and solidarity to help families survive under war and occupation. We have brought essential aid and opportunities to learn and play to children in Palestinian refugee camps and towns. We brought cancer medicines, medical supplies and much more to the children of Iraq during 13 years of brutal sanctions, followed by a war that is still not over.
Since 2012, MECA has been supporting grassroots organizations in Lebanon working with refugees from Syria. We have sent more than $1 million in aid for medicine and medical care, along with shoes, clothes, blankets, school supplies and more.
The "War on Terror" has terrorized the children of the Middle East. Now, we must take care of the children and do everything we can to stop and this endless war.
Sign the "Stop the Drownings" petition to demand the EU, US and international community develop a humane 21st century refugee policy that saves lives and protects people fleeing war and hunger.
Donate to MECA so we can continue to support grassroots community groups in Lebanon who are working tirelessly to meet the basic needs of refugees
A Refugee Story: From Palestine to Syria to Lebanon
Regime Change Refugees: On the Shores of Europe
by Vijay Prashad