Syrian refugees wait at a UNHCR distribution centre in Za'atari refugee camp in Jordan. Photo: UNHCR/J. Tanner
For Syrian Refugees, a Border Separates ‘Heaven’ from Hell -- Time
Were it not for the white, nondescript container houses, Turkey‘s Öncüpınar refugee camp could easily pass for a small, lively town. On a recent afternoon in the camp that houses nearly 14,000 Syrians, young families sauntered past dozens of stalls stocked with anything from jeans to falafel and tea. Children, having just sat through exams, poured out of a newly built school. Inside a shed covered with sheets of blue tarp, Ahmet, a barber all of 16 years old, cropped a customer’s mustache. It was his first day in business, he said, and it felt good to have work.
Life is far from perfect in Öncüpınar, of course. Its residents are here, after all, only because Syria‘s civil war forced them to flee their homes. At night, the sound of shelling from across the border keeps the children awake in the cramped containers, some providing shelter to more than ten people. At the local supermarket, where customers pay with e-vouchers issued by the UN’s World Food Program (WFP) and the Turkish Red Crescent, there are complaints about prices.
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My Comment: 50,000 Syrian refugees crossed the borders of Lebanon/Jordan/Turkey in just the past week .... and more are coming. This crisis is about to explode.