Advertisement

Syrian Seven: Young brothers look to the future after fleeing the conflict

As London hosts an international conference on Syria's humanitarian crisis, ITV News Middle East correspondent Geraint Vincent has met seven young brothers at the Zaatari refugee camp in Jordan trying to get to their mother in Germany.

In the middle of the Zaatari refugee camp, some of the Samara brothers are hard at work.

One of the brothers cleans their makeshift home at the camp. Credit: ITV News

In the shack that is their home, Mansour, 11, Mohamed, 13, and 15-year-old Hassan are on cleaning duty, mopping the floors.

Three of the middle Samara brothers Credit: ITV News

Seventeen-year-old Hasan is preparing the evening's meal in the dank but spotless kitchen space at the back.

Hasan wants to be a cook Credit: ITV News

In the dust outside, the youngest boys - Isan and Hussein - are kicking a football in the street.

Isan is the second youngest of the brothers Credit: ITV News
Boys at the refugee camp play football. Credit: ITV News

Khaled, the oldest brother, is getting ready to go to work. He has found a job as a security guard at one of the schools in the camp. He does the nightshift. He is 19-years-old and the head of the family.

At just 19-years-old, Khaled is head of the family Credit: ITV News

The brothers are fending for themselves because three years ago, before they fled the war in Syria, their father walked out on them.

Then, last September, their mother Wadha, left as well. She made the journey across the Mediterranean to Europe, where she is seeking asylum status, and the right to bring her sons to live with her as her dependants.

The boys' mother Wadha is currently living in Germany Credit: ITV News

Khaled says he understands completely why his mother left. "She is trying to secure our future", he says.

During her journey, the boys were very worried. Every day, they hear stories of Syrians drowning in the sea. They are grateful to God that she made it to Germany. Now they are waiting for good news from Mum, that they might be able to go and start new lives.

Geraint speaks to the Samara brothers in their 'home' at the camp. Credit: ITV News

In the meantime, it’s very tough for them in the bleak atmosphere of Zaatari. They all put a brave face on things. They get along well and try to be there for each other.

The Zaatari refugee camp where the brothers are living. Credit: ITV News

Hassan speaks with an eloquence beyond his years. "We can survive here", he says. "But we cannot live."

Hassan Credit: ITV News

They are bright boys, and they speak hopefully, and heartbreakingly, of what they want to do in the future. Ambitions that they would be on their way to achieving, if war hadn’t smashed up their childhoods. Khaled wants to be an economist.

The youngest brother, seven-year-old Hussein, who lost an eye in Syria and had his injury treated in Zaatari, wants to become a doctor.

Hussein, who is the youngest brother, lost an eye in Syria. Credit: ITV News

The boys are seven, among more than a million, Syrian souls who have found shelter in Jordan. The never-ending conflict in Syria has given their new "hometown", a permanence it was never meant to have. But for the Samara brothers, Zaatari, is still a place which is "in-between" their past, and their future.

If a place cannot be found for them in Europe, then a future must be made for them where they are, or they will live on the edge of society for the rest of their lives. The donors gathering in London have the fate of a whole generation of Syrians in their hands.

  • Geraint's report will be broadcast on the ITV Evening News at 6.30pm

More on this story