Ashur – AURA

A Syrian refugee walks with her children at Zaatari refugee camp in Mafraq, Jordan, near the Syrian border, Sept. 8. Around 30,000 Syrians live at the camp, with the numbers growing each day. Mohammad Hannon/AP.
A Syrian refugee walks with her children at Zaatari refugee camp in Mafraq, Jordan, near the Syrian border, Sept. 8. Around 30,000 Syrians live at the camp, with the numbers growing each day. Mohammad Hannon/AP.

AURA (Anglican-United Refugee Alliance) works with parishes in the Diocese of Toronto to aid and support refugees through refugee sponsorship, settlement services, education, and other means. Ashur (not his real name) is just one of the many people who have been helped. Here is his story:

Ashur is a 7 year old boy from a town in south west Syria.

Ashur lived a quiet life, his father worked for the government and his mother worked for an international company. On the 6th March 2011 fifteen children were arrested and tortured for painting anti-authoritarian graffiti. The civic protests that followed their detention led to an outbreak of violence that would see a domestic uprising transform into a civil war.

As the civil war erupted Ashur’s father was murdered for being seen as part of the government by one side of the conflict. Ashur’s mother was threatened with death for working with foreign companies by the other side of the conflict.

Having no choice, Ashur and the remaining members of the family fled the only home they had ever known into the hostile countryside. Ashur made the 57 km journey on foot over the border with Jordan and eventually to the Zaatari refugee camp. Although safer, Ashur and his family now face the dangers of life in a temporary refugee camp and an uncertain future. Because of being directly targeted, Ashur and his family will never be able to go home.

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