Breaking News
August 21, 2018 - National Foundation for Cancer Research receives Safeway Foundation grant
August 21, 2018 - Protein aggregation in neurons linked to gene regulation in Huntington’s disease
August 21, 2018 - Aravive Biologics gains Fast Track Designation for AVB-S6-500 from U.S. FDA
August 21, 2018 - FDA Approves Opdivo (nivolumab) for Certain Patients with Previously Treated Small Cell Lung Cancer
August 21, 2018 - Success of blood test for autism affirmed
August 21, 2018 - Diabetic patients with disrupted sleep may need more time to heal their wounds
August 21, 2018 - AADE honors six educators for achievements in diabetes education
August 21, 2018 - Scientists find two molecules that may combat cancer and chronic infections
August 21, 2018 - Two Strategies for Preventing Diabetes in Minority Patients
August 21, 2018 - Living as a Gallbladder Cancer Survivor
August 21, 2018 - Can we predict the long-term outcome of boys with ADHD?
August 21, 2018 - GBCA creates model for developing scientist-advocate collaborations in cancer research
August 21, 2018 - Healthy diet could help promote healthy cellular aging in women
August 21, 2018 - Researchers develop gene expression predictor for immunotherapy response in melanoma
August 21, 2018 - MDI Biological Laboratory introduces Morris Scientific Discovery Fund for eligible research programs
August 21, 2018 - Micro-flow model reveals complex interactions between the brain’s blood vessels and nerve cells
August 21, 2018 - Study investigates impact of osteoporosis on risk of developing dementia
August 21, 2018 - Federal method fails to detect most stores that sell cigarettes to minors
August 21, 2018 - Workers in open office seating have less stress than those in private offices and cubicles
August 21, 2018 - 1 in 4 in U.S. Has a Disability, CDC Reports
August 21, 2018 - Studies provide new insights into the role of sleep in chronic pain
August 21, 2018 - Study shows that rogue proteins may underlie some ALS and frontotemporal dementia cases
August 21, 2018 - Elevated LDL cholesterol levels linked to higher risk of CVD death in young, healthy people
August 21, 2018 - Measles cases on the rise in Europe
August 21, 2018 - CURE Media Group welcomes CancerCare to Strategic Alliance Partnership Program
August 21, 2018 - Blood management program associated with fewer transfusions in orthopedic patients
August 21, 2018 - Researchers create the world’s first artificial retina
August 21, 2018 - Yale researchers identify racial disparities in prescribing opioids for chronic pain
August 21, 2018 - BOOST-3 clinical trial aims to improve outcomes for severe TBI patients
August 21, 2018 - New study highlights Alzheimer’s herpes link, experts say
August 21, 2018 - Airline crew don’t have significantly elevated risk of thyroid cancer, new study finds
August 21, 2018 - States leverage federal funds to help insurers lower premiums
August 21, 2018 - New badge course explores research around skeletal muscle as an endocrine organ
August 21, 2018 - TG Therapeutics Announces Completion of Target Enrollment in the ULTIMATE Phase 3 Trials in Multiple Sclerosis
August 21, 2018 - Increased levels of human herpesvirus ID’d in Alzheimer’s
August 21, 2018 - To help patients quash pain, researcher develops practical guide for health care providers
August 20, 2018 - Medicine on the front line to be presented at Medical Innovation 2018
August 20, 2018 - Harbour Biomed and Kelun-Biotech collaborate to develop, commercialize anti-PD-L1 antibody
August 20, 2018 - The man who sold America on vitamin D — and profited in the process
August 20, 2018 - Finding the light in antimicrobials
August 20, 2018 - Unique pain program helps surgical patients wean off opioids safely and effectively
August 20, 2018 - Strawberries could mitigate colonic inflammation
August 20, 2018 - FDA Accepts New Drug Application (NDA) to Review Midazolam Nasal Spray, an Investigational Product for the Acute Treatment of Seizure Clusters
August 20, 2018 - Using Facebook to help young adults quit smoking
August 20, 2018 - ‘Liquid biopsy’ predicts lymphoma therapy success within days | News Center
August 20, 2018 - 5 Questions with Jordan Orange, Chair of Pediatrics
August 20, 2018 - New assay may help improve both sarcoma diagnosis and treatment
August 20, 2018 - New information on the brain regions related to metacognition, tactile sense
August 20, 2018 - New class of insect repellents to fight against mosquito-borne diseases
August 20, 2018 - ACA Coverage Gains Include Workers Without Insurance
August 20, 2018 - 3-D printed biomaterials for bone tissue engineering
August 20, 2018 - Current surveillance system does not quickly pick up most listeriosis cases in the EU, study reveals
August 20, 2018 - Prenatal exposure to acute stress can affect cognitive function in children of low-income households
August 20, 2018 - New study examines scope of state policies targeting drug use by pregnant women
August 20, 2018 - Researchers find long-term structural, functional brain abnormalities in individuals with AUDs
August 20, 2018 - Shortage of insurance fraud cops sparks campaign debate
August 20, 2018 - Researchers find STAT3 as therapeutic target for chronic active EBV infection
August 20, 2018 - Health Tip: Keep Diabetic Feet Healthier
August 20, 2018 - FDA approves brain stimulation device for OCD
August 20, 2018 - NYU Langone’s Perlmutter Cancer Center expands Blood and Marrow Transplant Program
August 20, 2018 - New drug shows potential to prevent painful side effect of therapy
August 20, 2018 - RDMD raises $3 million in seed funding to accelerate rare disease research, drug development
August 20, 2018 - Illicit drug use is higher during celebratory events, may be worse than previously thought
August 20, 2018 - Exploring the relationship between fever and cancer incidence
August 20, 2018 - Study reveals how socioeconomic status affects racial, ethnic disparities in childhood cancer survival
August 20, 2018 - Brain tumors trap immune cells needed to fight cancer in the bone marrow, finds research
August 20, 2018 - Three factors that contribute to physician burnout
August 20, 2018 - Babies dependent on opioids need touch, not tech
August 20, 2018 - Understanding How Antibodies Shape the Gut Microbiome
August 20, 2018 - Cara Therapeutics Doses First Patient in Second Pivotal Phase 3 Efficacy Trial of Korsuva (CR845/difelikefalin) Injection in Hemodialysis Patients with Chronic Kidney Disease-Associated Pruritus
August 20, 2018 - Kidney transplant chains more effective in saving lives
August 20, 2018 - Study unravels cellular and molecular mechanisms behind dermal condensate formation
August 20, 2018 - New integrated gene logic-chips could have great value in medical care
August 20, 2018 - FDA Advisory Committee Recommends Approval of Paratek’s Omadacycline
August 20, 2018 - Total, open repairs decline for abdominal aortic aneurysms
August 20, 2018 - Novel system can pinpoint ingestible implants inside the body using wireless signals
August 20, 2018 - Infection rates of high risk oral HPV in England found to be lower than expected
August 20, 2018 - Making robots as valuable and trustworthy assistants for medical therapies
August 20, 2018 - Patients with low-risk blood clots can be better treated at home than at hospital
August 20, 2018 - Passive smoking exposure among kids greatly increases COPD risk late in life
Life on the border: Struggle, loss and desperation

Life on the border: Struggle, loss and desperation

image_pdfDownload PDFimage_print

Hayat, 46, in pink above, is from a village near Homs in Syria, although she now calls Akkar, Lebanon home. When she was in Syria, assailants came into her home and burned her children and husband to death in front of her. They hit her on the head, leaving her with a traumatic brain injury, and then fled.

Left unconscious, she was presumed dead. Four days later, covered in blood, Hayat was able to leave her house and was luckily found by a neighbor who recognized her. The neighbor contacted her mother who came to her rescue. In 2012, Hayat and her mom fled to Lebanon.

I first met Hayat a year ago during a trip to examine conditions for Syrian refugees in Lebanon. She had been staying in an informal rented settlement in Akkar, Lebanon. When asked about the most vulnerable person in the camp, the head of the community didn’t hesitate and took me straight to her.

After her brain injury and exposure to severe trauma, Hayat has lost her ability to speak. She has no memory of her children. Taking anti-epileptic and anti-psychotic drugs, Hayat has regressed to behaviors of a 3-year-old. She’s now often seen playing with a pink play cellphone, pleading for someone to help her dial a number (any number) in her Syrian hometown.

In areas near the Lebanon-Syria border, it’s difficult to feel like one has any true impact when working in complex humanitarian emergencies like the Syrian war. On a small scale, every day, I interact with Syrian children who’ve been out of school for years, left with only semblances of dreams for the future. I speak with women like Jamila, Hayat’s 87-year-old mother, who’ve been exposed to grueling, debilitating trauma — including witnessing their own children tortured — and have no access to mental health treatment. On a larger scale, eight years into the War (here it is capitalized), at least 12 million remain displaced, often dealing with inadequate access to services and debilitating violence.

In thinking about true, lasting impact in this prolonged humanitarian crisis, we ought to both ensure a better system to provide basic necessities and a way to provide services like education and employment opportunities that allow people to move forward and live, rather than just survive.

In Lebanon, now more than any of my previous visits, I see families struggle to make ends meet with crushing rental prices, no employment opportunities, and pressure by the Lebanese government for them to return to “safe” areas in Syria. More today than any other day of my work in Lebanon, I see desperation in Syrian refugees’ eyes and an almost palpable yearning to contribute to the Lebanese economy.

The response to the refugee crisis thus far has left even some of the most vulnerable refugees, like Hayat, without access to the care and financial support they desperately need. We need better systems in place to ensure at least the most vulnerable have these services.

Laila Soudi is the project lead for the Stanford Refugee Research Project. Originally from Syria, Laila has been working with refugee populations across Europe and the Middle East. This piece is part of a series on her trip to the Jordan-Syria and Lebanon-Syria borders.

Photo of Laila Soudi, Hayat, Jamila, and Stanford researcher Emily Johnson

Tagged with:

About author

Related Articles