ANGEL IN PERIL
Meet Osama. Smart, motivated, and blessed with an extraordinary sense of humanity. Born on January 19, 1994, he had to leave high school in early 2011, when his house in Aleppo, Syria, was destroyed by shelling.
Name: Osama, Syrian refugee living in Amman, Jordan
His situation: Working construction in dangerous conditions, his life on hold
His refugee status: Asylum seeker, UNHCR
The opportunity: Private sponsorship to Canada
What he needs: A new life in a safe country
Where is he now?
In May of 2012, Osama was hiding out in his aunt’s house when the constant shelling and bombings caused him to have a nervous breakdown. He stayed inside for a month. He knew he had to leave to save his life, and he made the dangerous journey to flee the country.
Since February, 2013, he has lived in Amman Jordan, working in construction – his dreams of getting an education on hold. He has a very hard life. Syrians are not accepted in the country, and lack the basic rights and protections of local citizens. He cannot access education, healthcare or employment.
As the eldest boy, he works to support his family, including his grandmother, mother and younger siblings, who live with him in a small apartment. The work is dangerous.
In October 2018, he had to take three weeks off to care for a cousin who had fallen from a three-storey building. He might be next.
Meeting a friend
I first met Osama in September 2017, while on a trip to Jordan to visit other Syrian refugees. He immediately struck me as special. Kind, gentle, soft-hearted, with an angelic quality.
My Syrian friends also took to him, and we asked his mother permission to bring him along with us for a five-day excursion around Jordan. It was a great trip, seeing the sights, and – because most of the people in the van were Syrian nationals – talking our way through police checkpoints.
We got to know Osama well on that trip, and at the end of it, met his family in their tiny apartment in Amman. It was painful leaving him behind in Jordan, and when I did, I promised myself I would help him find a better life.
Then and now
Since then, we’ve registered Osama in Amal Learning, an online voluntary English tutoring service run out of Europe. His teachers adore him and his eagerness to learn. However, with each day that passes, he falls further behind in achieving his full potential.
If you or your friends want to each out to Osama, you can contact him directly by WhatsApp: 00962795146451
You can also contact his Canadian friend, Stephen Watt by WhatsApp at +1-416-904-3467