The Syrian Refugee Crisis: One of Six Million Stories

Wednesday, July 02, 2014

Syrians walk along a severely damaged road in the northeastern city of Deir Ezzor on January 4, 2014. (AHMAD ABOUD/AFP/Getty)

In Syria, the toll of the three year old conflict has swelled to epic proportions. The United Nations has stopped updating its Syrian death toll numbers due to how difficult it is to verify facts on the ground in the country.

But the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights estimates that the total death toll has now reached more than 162,000, and the United Nations Human Rights Council estimates that more than 6 million have been displaced. In total, U.S.A.I.D. estimates that more that 9 million people are in dire need of humanitarian assistance in Syria.

Secretary of State John Kerry announced last month that the U.S. will provide an additional $290 million in humanitarian assistance, pushing the total assistance from the U.S. to more than $2 billion.

Today, The Takeaway brings you just one story of the more than 6 million tales of devastation, heartache, and loss. It's the story a Syrian refugee who sat down in our studio here in New York City to tell us about the homeland he's left.

Amin Ahmed is not his real name. He's worried that using his real name will put his parents, who are still in the country, at risk. As a former hospital administrator in Aleppo, he saw the human toll of the conflict first-hand. He says that ISIS's advance in Iraq comes as little surprise to Syrians.

Guests:

Amin Ahmed

Produced by:

Mythili Rao

Editors:

T.J. Raphael

Comments [4]

happaGirl from California

Why is your show only highlighting this congress woman who's spewing her biased opinions. She has no facts to back up any of her statements. NPR is becoming like all the other news outlets: letting opinions be argued as fact. OPINIONS are not journalism. I thought NPR knew that. But now that you're under new management wanting to be "balanced" means the news has been canceled

Jul. 08 2014 03:22 PM
Karima V. Bushnell from Minneapolis, MN

Your Syrian speaker said exactly what needs to be said: that the problem is not about differences between Shia and Sunni but about dictators and those who are full of hatred for anyone--Sunni, Shia, Christian, Alawi or other - who does not accept their interpretation Islam. He also said that ISIS is greatly disliked by ordinary Syrians.

ISIS should not be referred to or identified with "Sunnis" in general, nor should anything they establish be called in "Islamic state" because their every action violates the basic principles of Islam.

Jul. 02 2014 03:45 PM
Elvi from Forest Hills

Wonderful to hear gratitude and acknowledgment to Israel for its humanitarian aid, often to its sworn enemies, and out of all proportion to its size. The many Palestinians who are treated at Israeli hospitals often repay those great kindnesses either with violence and hatred, or no thanks at all. This is a man of unusual honesty and bravery.

Jul. 02 2014 03:29 PM
Larry Fisher from Brooklyn, N.Y.

"Out of this tragedy, we see all people as humans."

Amin Ahmed's voice is strong and it I hope to learn his real name one day.

Jul. 02 2014 12:57 PM

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