Refugee girl’s compassion wins hearts

December 1, 2012


A Syrian girl staying at a refugee camp in northern Jordan has won the hearts of Bahrainis after she was shown bursting into tears in a television report.

Nine-year-old Ram was in her new classroom in the recently opened Bahrain Educational Compound at Zaatari Camp for Syrian refugees when she talked about her living conditions.

“My name is Ram Ebrahim Al Meflah. I thank Bahrain and the people of Bahrain and the King of Bahrain because they gave us generously and helped us a great deal,” she said.

She then told the Bahrain Television reporter that she recalled with fondness her friends, but was not sure about their fate.

“They are very nice to me. I do not know what has happened to them. I do miss them a lot. I don’t know what has happened to them. They are from Al Qidam area and I too am from there,” she said. “. I worry a lot about them,” she managed to say in an emotional voice before bursting into tears and hiding her face with her hand.

The young girl’s candid remarks and spontaneous concerns about her lost neighbours and friends won her immediate sympathy in Bahrain.

“She was so innocent and so pure,” Mohammad Anas, a university student, said. “I was really touched by what she said. She has obviously been through so much pain herself and now she is worried about her friends. I really pray for her and for all the other children at the camp. Running away from death, they are now forced to live in very demanding conditions,” he said.

Ebrahim Ahmad, an executive with a company, said that he was ready to support Ram.

“I felt so much sympathy with her. She has witnessed more, much more than a child should see or go through at her age. She deserves to be treated well, both at school and at the camp. I know that the conditions are not outstanding, so I believe more countries should emulate the example of Bahrain and extend a warm hand to Ram and the other children,” he said. “I am myself ready to support in any capacity I can.”

For Hessa, a journalist who had visited the camp, “Ram was particularly spontaneous in expressing what most of the camp children felt.”

“She really broke my heart. She was obviously concerned about her friends and classmates and wished to know where they were or what they were doing,” she said. “Being uprooted from familiar surroundings is obviously a formidable mental challenge and all the children deserve special attention to help them. Bahrain has made a difference by enabling them to resume their formal education, and I hope more countries will join in providing a more secure environment for them.”

Meanwhile, United Nations officials have hailed Bahrain for opening an education compound to help with the formal education of the children of Syrian refugees who fled to Jordan.

Dominique Isabelle Hyde, United Nations International Children’s Emergency Fund (Unicef) representative in Jordan, said the facility was the best in the camp.

At least 5,000 school-age children are expected to benefit from the $4 million (Dh14.68 million) facility, officially opened by Shaikh Nasser Bin Hamad Al Khalifa, chairman of the Bahrain Royal Charity Foundation, on Sunday.

The 4,600-sq m school is located at the Zaatari Camp, 80 kilometres north east of the Jordanian capital Amman, where more than 40,000 Syrians who have fled the 20-month-long civil war, are now staying.

“This school is giving the children hope and ambition for the future,” Shaikh Nasser said as he chatted with a group of students.

The Bahrain Education Compound was built following orders by King Hamad Bin Eisa Al Khalifa to support Syrian refugees and their children. Shaikh Nasser last week signed an agreement in Istanbul to build a hospital for Syrian refugees in Turkey.



About the author

Born August 3, 1960 in Monastir, Tunisia
Media career:
  • ABC News (Tunisia)
  • Bahrain Tribune
  • Gulf News
  • Bahrain Television News
Teaching career:
  • Monastir (Tunisia)
  • University of Bahrain
  • MA  Mass Communications, University of Leicester
  • BA  in English & US literature and studies, University of Tunis

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