Grassroots Healthcare

On a visit to Damascus this December with the Questscope team, I met three Syrian physicians providing primary medical care in some of the most challenging locations in Syria. I asked them what it was like working in remote areas with patients, families, and communities with such incredible need.

Yes, of course, they said, they could do with better equipment and more access to important medicines. But I was surprised by how much they pointed to education and basic health literacy as overlooked factors affecting their patients.

All of us were shocked when Dr. Ziad told us...MORE

Samson Fled Syria in the Dead of Night

When ISIS fighters came to Samson's street, his mom told her 10-year-old boy to run and hide.

"I watched them set fire to burn down our house," said Samson.

That night, Samson and his family fled from Syria to Jordan. To be safe. To try to hope again. Like 90% of refugees, Samson's family does not live in a refugee camp. They live "on their own" in the southern port city...MORE

What it means to be a refugee

I thought a lot about this letter before I sat down to write it. Where to start, when to start, and many other questions came to my mind. Then, I decided to start from the point when I realized that I was a refugee, living in a refugee camp.

I grew up in the Baqa’a Refugee Camp in Jordan, and I still live there today. Baqa'a Camp was one of six emergency camps set up in...MORE

On the Road in Idlib, Syria

Should I stay under bombs? Or should I flee into the unknown?

3 million people in Idlib, Syria face this question today. Right now. Most are citizens caught up in a deadly contest for control of this ancient agricultural province — waiting out what the United Nations has called the last battle of the Syrian conflict. Intermittent cease-fires since September of 2018 gave some respite, but now fighting is escalating nightmarishly.

There aren’t enough doctors. There isn’t enough water. There aren’t enough...MORE

Let's Zumba!

Sara could feel the beat before she saw the action.

She walked into a packed room with women of all shapes and sizes dancing to heart-thumping music. The instructor had an infectious energy and welcomed everyone to participate – even a nervous first-timer like Sara. It felt more like a dance party than a workout class!

Zumba is a Latin-inspired dance workout that’s one of the most popular exercise classes in the world – and one of the most popular activities at our Youth Center in the Za’atari Refugee Camp.

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Old But Gold

One of the most important responsibilities of our Syria team is protection of the most vulnerable displaced people – women, children, the elderly – and helping them stay safe in conflicts and disasters.

We constantly inquire: How safe do you feel? Who do you feel safe with, or not? Does fear or your lack of safety hinder your getting food and medicine? Does your safety depend on your gender? Or your age?

We want to make sure that individuals and communities are protected from harm and relieved of fear, that they have safe access to services, and that their rights as human...MORE

The Creativity Fund Committee

At the startup of the Za'atari Refugee Camp in 2012 our answer to a single question made all the difference in our experience there for the next 6 years: Are refugees a problem or a solution? We chose the latter – refugees are people, like us, with solutions. They just don't live at their usual home anymore.

We (Jordanian staff and Syrian volunteers) dreamed up very ambitious plans for youth-led activities in a Youth Center (that we would have to build!) in Za'atari Refugee Camp – a place where everyone already knew resources were scarce. Impossible! Really?...MORE

Redefining Food Aid in the 21st Century

Questscope was recently commended for being one of the top global organizations “redefining food aid in the 21st century” by Food Tank, a think-tank working for food system change.

An incredible recognition! Because our main focus is not food in emergencies – our main focus is always on people. But when people in emergencies need food, we move all kinds of things to get food to them.

Our strength is in relationships, in the trust we build. So when formal infrastructures crumble, like in...MORE

An Update from Damascus

When thousands of children and families finally left the Damascus suburb of Eastern Ghouta after enduring years of conflict – we were there.

We met people malnourished from years of deprivation, children who lost their moms and dads, and thousands more with deep emotional and physical wounds.

Providing refuge to these disoriented and fearful families was our first priority. Our first response was to organize a large transition shelter to host more than 12,000 people.

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Resolute Women are the Future

What is the role of women in conflict?

Hundreds of thousands of young men in Syria have died or have been forced to flee to avoid being drafted into a war they do not want to fight. Young women have stepped into the void and now make up over half of our team in Syria.

They're distributing clean water, rebuilding shelters, educating children, and growing into a force for peace. Young women are redefining what it means to be female on the front lines of war.

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