At dinner this evening in Beirut, the mother of my host family spoke of a conversation she had a few weeks ago with a Syrian widow with two boys, ages 8 and 10. They had fled Syria but had not been able to get the papers needed that would enable them to stay in Lebanon. This mother had given up and said that she would get some poison and give it to her two boys and to herself. My host, a widow herself with two adult children, spent hours with this despairing mother and convinced her to hold off until she could push the authorities for the necessary papers. My host said she had to literally bang the table of the official involved but finally she was able to get the papers. That family is now living in a small one bedroom apartment upstairs in their home and the boys are finally enrolled in the local public school. I met the mother and her two bright-eyed and cheerful boys this afternoon after they returned from school. They spent time with me practicing their limited French and they reported that after two months with no school books in their classes that the books would be arriving next week. I will bring back some pictures of the boys and their mother.
How many more such cases are there here and around the world – children and their parents who are desperate for a fighting chance but who lack the support of such a carrying family?