Istedar and her children escaped from their home when it was hit in the crossfire of continuous Syrian War violence. Istedar’s husband and father of her children, was kidnapped and later found dead. After living in hiding in the rural areas outside of Damascus, the family fled to Lebanon where they have been since 2013. Istedar has four children between the ages of 14 and 20. The entire family is facing a myriad of immediate concerns. They need help addressing and easing these burdens, of which include significant medical and safety concerns, dwindling prospects for earning incomes, lack of schooling, and basic needs for survival.
Shifia, the youngest at 14 years, has had nephrectomy surgery and a reimplanted ureter in her kidney; medical procedures that are complex, delicate, and correspond to outlying conditions and effects. Shifia is also suffering from growth hormone deficiency and anemia.
Shifia attends school, but with children much younger than she is. On-the-ground contacts have suggested that another school with specialized teachers to work with Shifia would be much more suitable.
Imad, Istedar’s second son, is a healthy 16-year-old boy who did attempt schooling in Lebanon, but ultimately was not able to meet the challenge of French-language based testing. He is not in school now. ARC would like to support training for Imad in cell phone repair, which can be a lucrative endeavor, one in which he can contribute to the family’s financial needs. He has found a school to teach him this, and thankfully it is completely free. However, he still needs tools and supplies to use in the business.
The same school unfortunately could not take 20 year old Okba, the oldest son, because he suffers from chronic epilepsy. Imad will teach him at home, and hopefully the two will be able to start a business.
Istedar also has a 19-year-old daughter who has married and moved away with the husband. Sadly, this union has left her daughter in a troubling situation in which she is pregnant by her abusive husband who puts her out on the street and controls her activity and her life. Istedar is brokenhearted and is not sure how to bring her daughter back home.
Istedar herself has high blood pressure and varicose veins in her legs, but she cannot afford the time to even consider looking into options to treat these ailments. She is trying to keep her family together and alive.
This family, like many Syrian refugees, entered Lebanon illegally through a pass in the mountains bordering the two countries. Recent legislation in Lebanon has dictated that Syrian refugees are no longer able to work in the country. Refugees has previously been employable if they had sponsorship from a Lebanese citizen. Istedar has been working sporadically as a cleaning lady, on an as-needed basis, for the small sum of 5-7 USD a day. This was and is the family’s only income. But it is not nearly enough for the family to survive.
ARC is working in coordination with volunteer Stefanie Ziervogl to help Istedar and her children. You can reach Stefanie with your inquiries at
To secure housing for Istedar’s family we need-
– 200 USD monthly or ideally 6 – 12 mth commitment of 1200/2400 USD
– 230 USD for washing machine
– 60 USD for blankets for all family members – about 12 USD each
– tools and supplies for a cell phone repair business – cost still TBD
Istedar had applied for resettlement and has recently received notice of acceptance from UNHCR.
Istedar and her children will be the beneficiaries of an upcoming benefit concert which hopes to raise 2000K for the family. Thank you!!!!!