30 Days of Faith: Day 13

· · · Yusuf, 15, arrived in Egypt nine days ago with his parents. Here, he stands outside the Syrian restaurant where he works in Cairo. Although Egypt has its own problems, he feels safer here than in Syria, where his home area was shelled. "Thank God nothing happened to anyone in my family. We decided to go to Damascus, get passports and leave,” he said. But he misses Syria and the big family gatherings at Ramadan. Yusuf says he would get together on a farm for the evening meal, or iftar, with his five brothers and more than 50 other relatives. The women cooked from early morning and the entire family would gather around a large table and eat lamb and meat dishes. “After dinner, three of my uncles would pray at the mosque and everyone else would drink tea and coffee, eat Syrian nuts, talk about work, laugh and smoke cigarettes while listening to [Lebanese singer] Fayrouz and sometimes watching Syrian Ramadan soap operas,” Yusuf said. Reflecting on his days in Cairo, he said: “I'm sad, disappointed. I feel like life is only work and home. I feel that life is meaningless. I don't see my parents or family. I go home at 3am every day and come back at 2pm to work.”

Photos and text by Shawn Baldwin for UNHCR

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