The United Nations World Food Programme is launching a campaign to give people a chance to show solidarity with the suffering of millions of Syrians displaced inside Syria and as refugees outside the country. 

#IamSyrianconsists of brief online portraits of ordinary Syrians sharing the contrast between their lives before the conflict began and their current lives in Syria and in exile, what they and their families have lost and their hopes for the future. In their own words, they appeal to common humanity so supporters can show their solidarity by using #IamSyrian, liking or sharing stories on social media. 

The #IamSyrian initiative supports the 21 January appeal by heads of UN agencies and aid organizations calling for an end to the suffering in Syria and for specific actions so humanitarian assistances reaches all those in need. It comes as the London conference urges the world to #SupportSyrians and its message is complementary to the spirit of the conference.

My name is Ziad. I grew up in a small village of Al Hajah in Syria. Thank you for reading my letter. If you were here in Zaatari refugee camp with me, I would welcome you into my home. It means so much to share my story with you.

Image: © WFP/ Guilio d'Adamo

These days, I live in a refugee camp in Jordan where I keep busy by working as a guard at WFP food distribution points, and by helping to fix things around the camp.

My life now is very different to my life before the conflict started. There was a sense of familiarity at home in Syria. I lived among relatives and neighbours that I knew well. I used to work as a farmer, living and eating off the sweat of my brow. I had land where I grew vegetables and I had confidence that my children were safe and among family. Here in the refugee camp, you have to fend for yourself.

“I used to work as a farmer, living and eating off the sweat of my brow. I had confidence that my children were safe and among family.”

Leaving your home country is a very hard decision. I knew that when I first came to Jordan I was going to feel estranged, so I use poetry as a way to cope with my experiences. I have written several poems since I arrived here. At home, I had a notebook full of the poems I had written. Because of the circumstances, I wasn’t able to bring it with me.

Image: © WFP/ Guilio d'Adamo

Life is hard here - work is scarce and the assistance we get barely covers our basic needs until the end of each month. The only items I have are a drill for doing DIY work around the camp, and a rababa, a string instrument which I use to recite my poetry.

Back in Syria, I used to love writing poems about romance, values and chivalry. Since I arrived here in Zaatari, all my poems are now about my longing to go home.

Image: © WFP/ Guilio d'Adamo


Yours sincerely,


Story Provided by World Food Programme 

The views expressed here are not necessarily those of each of the partners of Global Citizen.


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#IamSyrian and this is my story- Ziad