As the bombing and shelling crept closer to their home in Damascus, Syria, Mashallah decided to flee her country along with her husband and four young children. They fled to Domiz camp in neighboring Iraq, expecting to return home within a couple of months. Years later, as the civil war in Syria continues, the family’s future remains uncertain. Working to adapt to their new lives as refugees provides a distraction from the painful memories of what they witnessed and everything they left behind.
Nearly five million Syrians have fled to neighboring countries since 2011, with most finding shelter in refugee camps or informal settlements with inadequate resources like water, food and electricity. The story of Mashallah’s family is similar to those of many Syrian refugees in Domiz camp and elsewhere: living in limbo, uncertain if they will ever be able to return home. Others struggle daily to meet their basic needs and are plagued by health problems and the scarcity of work.
Doctors Without Borders/Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) has been providing medical care in Domiz camp since it opened in 2012. Medical teams treat patients for chronic diseases, offer mental health counseling, and provide reproductive and maternity care. Find out about MSF’s touring exhibition, Forced From Home, which will feature 360-degree video and virtual reality documentaries that show the realities of displacement around the world at http://www.forcedfromhome.com/