by Salah Takieddine
BEIRUT, June 9 (Xinhua) -- Suheila Idriss, a Syrian woman who fled her devastated town in Aleppo and took refuge in the plains of Marjeyoun in South Lebanon, feels confused and puzzled every day while preparing the traditional iftar for her family.
Iftar is the meal that breaks the long day of fasting for the Muslims during the holy month of Ramadan that started Monday.
"We cannot prepare the proper iftar because our severe living conditions, and we content ourselves with the minimum required," Idriss told Xinhua.
"We lost the pleasure of family gathering at the iftar after five years of displacement and our Ramadan remains full of sadness and pain due to the loss of relatives and friends in the war," she added.
In the nearby plain of Sarda, Jamila al-Ahmad, displaced from Damascus, told Xinhua "before our displacement to Lebanon, we spent two years in our town being bombed and shelled, and we could not find anything to feed ourselves, but here in Lebanon, we depend on aid we get during Ramadan from the United Nations and the local donors."
She stressed "despite the rationing in the aid given by the donors, our situation here is better than in Syria."
For her part, Ilham Soueidan, who was displaced to Hasbaya in South Lebanon from Damascus, told Xinhua "none of the refugees feels the happiness of Ramadan for years."
Isaaf Aboul Oula was fifty years old. She lost her husband in the devastated city of Idlid.
She recalled how her late husband would "work hard to secure what is needed for the iftar during Ramadan. "But today our lives have turned upside down and I depend with my five children, as most of the refugees in the camp, on the donations of the aid agencies and the locals."
Ahmad al-Oulabi, now taking shelter in the southern village of Rachaya al Wadi in Lebanon, told Xinhua that "during Ramadan, before and after, our main concern remains how to provide our families with the minimum required to secure our living."
According to the United Nations Higher Commission for Refugees, Lebanon hosts more than 1.1 million Syrians, who fled their war-torn country since the uprising against President Bashar Assad erupted in March 2011. Enditem