After visiting the Ancient Roman City of Jerash during the morning, our group of pilgrims visited the Pontifical Mission for Palestine Library in Amman.
This library was originally founded by the Vatican as a way of assisting Palestinian refugees coming from Israel after the UN partitioning. From what I could learn, it was primarily founded to help refugees learn English and other skills so they could not only improve their job chances but also navigate the red tape of the UN relief agencies.
As the current crises in the region have unfolded, Jordan has taken in a HUGE number of refugees, coming from Iraq, Syria, ISIS-controlled territories and other places.
The meager resources of this library have been put to work with new refugees lucky enough to make it to Amman, who need more than what the library was created to do. Housing, education, language skills, computer skills, and as usual, how to navigate the UN system to seek asylum in other countries around the world.
We spent the afternoon meeting and playing with Christian Iraqi children, some who had been there for a few years, and some who were fairly new arrivals. Some had escaped their countries before being terrorized, others were not so lucky.
We were heartbroken to meet one family, who after fleeing ISIS in Iraq, threatened with death if they did not convert to Islam, had just received the news that they could emigrate to Australia when their father died of a heart attack.
Nonetheless, we enjoyed these kids. You could tell by how reserved some of the kids were that they had probably endured some terrible trials. Others were kids like any other kids.
It puts a true face on the refugees. The vast majority of such people are not terrorists and truly need Christian charity to make their way to a better life.
Just look at these kids and tell me they don’t deserve it!