November 13, 2017
Meet Mohamed, SAMS Psychologist in the Bekaa Valley
caroline.philhower

Mohammed started working with SAMS as a psychologist in the Bekaa Valley three years ago. Originally from the countryside of Damascus, he studied psychology and started working immediately after graduation.  Not long after, he was forced to flee from Syria to Lebanon when the war reached his hometown. With the...

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November 9, 2017
Restoring a Sense of Safety Through Psychosocial Support
caroline.philhower

Leila* chose a career in psychosocial support for a simple, but powerful reason – “to help people” she says, sitting in a small office tucked away in SAMS’s multi-specialty clinic in the Bekaa Valley. Before she left her hometown in the rural Damascus, she worked in special education, providing care...

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November 8, 2017
Offering Holistic Psychosocial Care to Refugees in Lebanon
caroline.philhower

“I have a lot of family who are affected by the conflict. I know how much they struggle, and how poor their mental health and emotional well-being is.” Alia Salam  recently started working with the Syrian American Medical Society (SAMS) in Lebanon, as the Psychosocial Support Project Director.  For Alia,...

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November 1, 2017
Meet Dr. Alexis, SAMS Volunteer in Greece
caroline.philhower

When he first began volunteering with SAMS Hellas, Dr. Alexis was afraid to ask his patients about their stories—worried he would “reopen fresh wounds”. Dr. Alexis, an internal medicine physician who had been in practice for two years, joined the SAMS Hellas team on the ground in Greece for three weeks,...

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October 26, 2017
The Daily Realities of East Ghouta: A Mother of 6 Struggles to Provide
caroline.philhower

Inside a an empty traditional Arab house, Umm Mohamed, 40, sits on the floor, holding her 6-month-old twins. Her infant twins were recently diagnosed with mild malnutrition at a medical center in Hamouriya, East Ghouta. As she was leaving the center, the staff gave her one bottle of baby formula...

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October 25, 2017
As Siege Tightens, Children of East Ghouta Face Grim Fate
caroline.philhower

Hala al-Nufi is 2 years old. She weighs 4.10 kilograms (9 pounds). Since the age of seven months, Hala has struggled with health problems, according to her mother, Um Sayyah. Around that time, Um Sayyah was able to take her to daughter to Damascus to seek medical care through tunnels between...

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October 24, 2017
في الغوطة الشرقية … عائلة لا تجد الطعام
caroline.philhower

أبو عزام /38 / عاماً، رجل سوري من عائلة تسكن في مدينة حمورية نزحوا إليها منذ عامين، وسكنوا داخل في منزل قديم متصدع، وتتراءى شقوقه بوضوح، حيث يخلو المنزل من الأثاث أو ما يمكن أن يستر عيوبه. منال أو “أم عزام” هي ربة المنزل إلا أنها لا تملك ما تدير...

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October 24, 2017
In Besieged East Ghouta, A Family Dreams of Feeding Their Children
caroline.philhower

Abu Azzam, a 38-year-old Syrian man, lives with his family in the town of Hamouriya, East Ghouta.  Two years ago, they fled from nearby Al-Murj after an aerial attack hit their home, killing one of their children and severely injuring another . Now, they live in  an empty and dilapidated...

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October 4, 2017
Observations on the Ground: The Rohingya Crisis in Bangladesh
caroline.philhower

As we arrived to Balukhali camp in Cox’s Bazar, we witnessed massive floods surrounding tents like islands, with Rohingya refugees attempting to swim to the main road for safety. “This flooding is caused by last night’s rainfall” remarked Mrs. Khatun. As part of our needs assessment trip to Bangladesh, SAMS...

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September 27, 2017
SAMS Alarmed By Heightened Attacks Against Healthcare Across Syria
caroline.philhower

For Immediate Release September 27, 2017 Washington, D.C.- Yesterday, the Government of Syria and its allies carried out three aerial attacks on medical facilities in Idlib, Hama, and besieged East Ghouta. These attacks are part of an intensifying escalation of violence directly targeting the medical infrastructure of areas outside of...

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September 25, 2017
Observations From The Ground: The Rohingya Crisis in Bangladesh
caroline.philhower

The SAMS Global Response (SGR) Team landed in Dhaka, Bangladesh’s densely populated capital city, on Monday, September 18. At the time, the team consisted of myself and SGR director Dina Prior. Upon landing, we immediately identified other humanitarian aid workers at the Hazrat Shahjalal International Airport, also headed to aid...

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September 21, 2017
Celebrating Contributions of Refugees on International Peace Day
caroline.philhower

Last year, a Lebanese woman arrived  to the SAMS polyclinic in the Bekaa Valley, asking for an urgent appointment with me as internist for her father. “The clinic is so crowded but I can wait, ” she said. I examined her father, an 85 year old man struggling with chronic...

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