Since 2011, the Syrian civil war has caused an approximate 400,000 deaths, while it has displaced millions from their homeland. However, despite the atrocities spread around the Middle-Eastern nation, the resilient Syrian refugees have put up a strong face as they face the world. Now, helping them in their mission, is Pakistani actress Armeena Rana Khan.
Currently fulfilling her mission to help as many of the 1.4 million Syrian refugees in Jordan as possible, Armeena explains what made her answer their plight, as she speaks exclusively to Something Haute from the field.
“The Syrian conflict has been going for quite a while. The images coming out of there affected me deeply and I felt more was needed than just status updates or condemnation,” Armeena said. “As luck and fate would have it, I found the ‘Human Relief Foundation’ online and after some research into the charity, I found transparency, control over the fund-raising targets and the whole hand delivering aspect. I took the plunge and have only just returned from Jordan; a trip that I hope to be part of every year since it is so rewarding.”
The actress also commented on the living conditions of the Syrian refugees who stay at the United Nations-sanctioned camps in Jordan.
“Displaced is the word that comes to mind,” the actress said. “Firstly, I do not think that it can ever be pleasant or desirable to live away from places, people and places that one holds dear; I know I would not. Granted that people have facilities, food, accommodation and are relative safety but that is the extent of it; they cannot dream of progressing or doing anything else in life.”
The Janaan actress – who has previously been a part of a number of philanthropies such as Graham Layton Trust, Imran Khan’s Cancer Appeal in the U.K, and a number of community projects in Manchester for female empowerment – also spoke about the sheer suffering that warfare brings.
“The simplest and the easiest task is to live for oneself but it is not so when it comes to living for others. The Jordan trip has enlightened me in many different ways, it has opened my eyes to the abhorrence that is war, the suffering, the plight of the people,” Armeena explained. “I now refuse to call people ‘refugees’ for example, I feel it almost takes away from their humanity, they have names, real lives, and destroyed aspirations.”
Armeena concluded the conversation by hoping for an end to the atrocities, which has only lead to grief for the people of Syria.
“Humans are designed to grow, be it knowledge, personal development, career etc. In camps, people just exist, doctors and lawyers, regular people like you and I are stagnating, waiting for the war to come to an end,” Armeena said. “Despite all of this, I feel we should bear the context of it all in mind, the camps are a safe haven for these war-ridden people and there is lots of good work being done by the charities. Let us hope this confusing war ends soon and people can go back to their normal lives, it truly is heart breaking.