Mother’s Day, which falls today in the Arab World, is traditionally a time to spend with family.
But for thousands of refugees, the special day this year will be spend hundreds of miles away from loved ones. Mothers left behind in Syria will think with anxiety about their children’s journeys abroad, while sons and daughters look back to war-torn homes with anxiety.
One charity, however, is trying help. Refugee Phones, a Swedish organisation, has created a service that will allow refugees in Europe to record voice messages to send home to their moms for Mother’s Day, by calling a hotline. The recordings will be played on Fuse FM, a popular independent radio station in Syria.
Refugees that have recorded messages include Muawiyeh, 24, who lives in Sweden. “I wanted to greet you and tell you happy Mothers’ Day,” he says in the recording posted by Metro. “I miss you so much and I hope all Syrian Moms are happy. I hope you’ve always be safe, and I miss you and all my family so much on this Mother’s Day.”
“I hope that you are happy because that makes me happy,” 31-year-old Mouddar said. “I hope next year we’ll be together and you’ll be the happiest Mom on earth.”
Although many Syrian refugees have their own smartphones, access in Syria – where reception is often partial and power sources are restricted – is severely limited. In the worst cases, that means family members may not even know that their loved ones are alive.
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