Halima Ali, a Syrian refugee who fled to Jordan in 2012 after her husband was killed, said she was looking forward to returning home for a reunion with her family and to provide a better life for her two daughters.
Ali, a 42-year old woman from Homs, who arrived in Jordan along with one of her brothers and his family, said life in Jordan is not easy and economic challenges are mounting, putting refugees in a situation where they are seriously considering a return home.
“I fled to Jordan after my husband, who worked as an accountant, was killed after Friday prayers by the Syrian regime forces… It was too scary to stay. I consulted with my father and he asked me to leave along with only a brother and his family to Jordan until things calmed down,” Ali told 7Dnews.
“It has been more than six years already. My father is very sick and so is my mother. I want to see them before anything happens to them. I miss my family. I want to return to see my relatives and my beloved ones as they all stayed in Homs in spite of the terrible conditions,” Ali said.
Ali expressed concern about her return to Syria. “I do not know what will happen to us, but I want to return. I am only afraid that the Syrian regime will take some measures against the refugees. But I want to return because it is very difficult for me to live here. I make living by cleaning houses sometimes and I depend on charity. It is not an easy life,” Ali said.
Ali is one of many Syrian refugees in Jordan who want to go back to Syria.
According to a recent study by CARE International, 18.8% of the Syrian refugees in Jordan wish to go back to Syria soon. The majority prefers to stay in Jordan or migrate to a third country, according to the study.
A quarter of the respondents among Syrians stated that they would go back to Syria if there was a possibility of a family reunion, or if the security situation improved, according to the report.
In addition, 20% mentioned that they would go home if they found a place to stay in Syria and 2.1% would make the journey back if there were better job opportunities.
Salloum Hourani, a Syrian refugee who lives in the Marka area in Amman, said he is “seriously” considering returning to his hometown in Hama.
“The situation is slightly better. I know it is still very dangerous, but I cannot live here forever. I need to return. Living in Amman with five daughters is not easy at all. There are no jobs. I work on daily basis sometimes in a few restaurants, but this is not a fixed job,” he told 7Dnews.
“If there is a job in Syria for me, I will return in a few days. I have been in touch with my brothers in Hama and some relatives and they encourage me to return. I want my daughters to grow up next to their relatives and grandparents,” said Hourani, 55.
“My father is very old and I want to see him before he dies. It is almost six years since I last saw him. I miss my friends and relatives. I really hope things will improve quickly,” Hourani said.
According to official figures, there are 1.3 million Syrians refugees in Jordan of whom around 10% live in refugee camps, while the rest live mainly in Amman, Zarqa, Mafraq and Irbid governorates.
Jordan has recently been encouraging the voluntary return of Syrian refugees to their home country.
A report released by the UNHCR early in August indicated that the number of Syrians who returned to their homeland from the beginning of 2016 until June of this year has reached 1,730, which the UN agency labelled as modest.
“Most of the Syrians who submit requests to the UNHCR asking to return home cite family reunion as the main reason,” the UNHCR report indicated.