A Syrian family has told of their gratitude for the support they’ve received at a charity cricket match for refugees in Nottingham.
Cricket matches have been held in the city to raise funds to support Syrian refugees living in the city since September.
The latest game was played at the Trent Bridge Cricket Ground on Saturday, 27 November, and consisted of 14 players from various Syrian societies, in order to raise as much money as possible for the charity Syrian Relief.
Abd-El-Kader, 53, the chief administrator of Syria Relief sponsored the event to take place at Trent Bridge.
He said: “We organised the charity Nottingham Cricket Games to raise funds for refugees in Nottingham, jointly organised by the Royal Foundation and the Nottingham government.”
The league is committed to a wide-ranging action plan to help refugees in Nottingham secure their lives, with backing from the England and Wales Cricket Board and the Professional Cricketers’ Association.
Participants donated 50% of their prize money to raise funds, with staff, volunteers, officials, referees all making personal contributions.
The event was watched by 10,000 people in the stands and thousands on televisions in remote villages, screens in neighbouring cities, migrant workers’ phones.
Some spectators in the stands stated migration is undesirable for any citizen of any country having to leave their homeland.
However, the social disorder in the country and the state of terrorism are threatening the security of every Syrian family.
Abu Zaheer, a 48-year-old Syrian, said: “We had a tough time in Syria. We lived in poverty in the Al-Hol refugee camp, just over 40 square kilometres but home to more than 70,000 people in 13,000 different camps.
Turkey’s assault on the Kurds has also destabilised the region, and many are concerned about the potential resurgence of IS. More than 20,000 children under 12 years old, including Haneefah, Abraham, Abrak and Assya.
There are many women and children at the refugee camp, including stateless orphans. “I understood that we had to come to a new land to survive, and we arrived in Nottingham,” said Zaheer.
His wife, Zainab Fatima, 43, added: “Many distinct Syrian refugees and we had problems mainly with paperwork. In the UK, ‘temporary protection cards’ are a real obsession. It is a document confirming the legal status, with which they can send their children to school and receive medical care.
“I’m working 10 hours a day in a garment factory with a meagre salary, and my husband is working in a lumber mill, and we don’t have enough to live. We needed the money.”
Nottingham council has supported the resettlement of Syrians.
The priority groups in its plan are women, girls and religious and ethnic groups, and their family is on that list. Refugees will be resettled in the city and supported with living expenses and food.
Zaheer’s family is on the list of 10 refugee families prioritised to receive support. Him and his wife are pleased to receive this support.
His wife said of the support: “It is our saviour, we are short of food in recent days and need money for our children to live every day.”
There are about 15,000 refugees in the UK since the British government opened the border to refugees in 2015.
Syrian president Bashar Al-Assad said last year that the solution to the refugee problem depends not only n the Syrian government, but also on international support.
Zaheer said: “If the government supports the refugees and ensures their security, we will repatriate whenever possible.”
Meanwhile, his wife noted that: “We are going to stay here as long as we can, and we need to get the paperwork legalised so we can get a job and send our kids to a local school.
“If the Syrian government allows us to repatriate with a positive policy, we will consider that. Otherwise, my family and I will stay here because we also have no relatives in Syria”.
The security problem in Syria is not over yet.