Many refugees who arrive at CRP bring considerable emotional baggage with them. They are eager to put the turmoil of their home countries behind them and begin new chapters at CRP. Fortunately, they are often able to do so as a result of CRP’s wide-ranging programs and welcoming environment.
Nawal fled Syria in 2013 because of the civil war there. Though she did not work, she was busy caring for her young children, now ages 3, 6, and 10. Upon arriving in Amman, she was eager to put the stress of her life in Syria behind her. Though Nawal says her life got easier simply by finding safety in Jordan, coming to CRP for the first time was an incredible experience. She says, “It was remarkable. I knew right away what a comfortable and welcoming atmosphere it was.”
At present, Nawal participates in the Beauty School and is registering for other activities. She brings her children to CRP each time she comes. “The help that CRP provides is not limited to adults—the activities for children are wonderful,” she adds.
A car mechanic from Baghdad, Sami fled Iraq two and a half years ago due to tensions between religious groups. He says, “When I worked in the garage, the other workers and the customers would never call me by my first name. They would refer to me as ‘Christian’ instead of using my name.” In some ways, Sami says, the constant discrimination was worse than a physical threat, like the violence that the so-called Islamic State carried out in other parts of Iraq.
Though he misses the feeling of constant work and the familiarity of home, Sami has found contentment within CRP’s inclusive environment. After arriving in Jordan, he heard about CRP from other refugees and decided to come. “When I first came here I knew it was a wonderful center—I saw the happy refugees from all different religions and the support that they were given and all of the activities. I have been really satisfied so far.”
Though the memories of the discrimination in Iraq remain for Sami, the buoyant atmosphere at CRP has been transformative for him. “Here at CRP there is no prejudice—everyone is welcomed. It is an environment where those things do not matter.”
Nawal adds, “I love that CRP is very supportive and encourages me to develop myself. The atmosphere in general is very comfortable and everyone is very happy. I feel like we are one big positive family.”
Nonsectarian community-building and trauma-relief support are key elements of CRP’s Family Resource and Community Center. Nawal’s story and Sami’s story are two of many stories we hear every day about people at CRP who have found solace and are working on overcoming hardships. Support our community here.