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Wednesday, October 20, 2021

‘Tents to homes’: Qatar builds ‘Umran City’ to house displaced Syrians


Qatar Red Crescent Society (QRCS) has completed the second residential project for displaced Syrians in the war-torn country.

QRCS said it has completed the construction of “Umran City” in Syria’s northern Al-Bab region.

The residential project serves as a secure shelter for displaced Syrians moving out of dire conditions at refugee camps.

The two-phased project was achieved thanks to several generous donations from Qatar’s community, QRCS said in a statement.

Families being housed in the new city were carefully assessed and chosen according to their needs, QRCS said.

“My home in Aleppo was bombed, and I lost my leg. I had to live in one tent with my mother, two wives, and nine children. I have always dreamt of a house to protect my family and me during the summer and winter,” said Abo Mohamed, one of the beneficiaries who will now live in the new town.

“Some of my children were surprised to see a concrete house,” he added, having taken over his new flat. “They were born and grew up in tents. They had no idea what a wall, door, or window is. They did not know how to use light switches or water taps.”

Read also: Qatar’s Red Crescent helps fight spread of COVID in Gaza schools

The city was established over a 10,000-m2 land plot and consists of 92 46-m2 flats in total, or 23 two-story buildings, each having four 2 bedroom, hall and kitchen (BHK) flats. 

As part of the project, QRCS also supplied residents of the new city with electricity, water, and established a sewage infrastructure. It also paved streets with solar street lights. A mosque and convenient stores were also built to serve the community. 

The QRCS project aims to shelter the most vulnerable displaced Syrians at camps, including orphans, widows and people with special needs.

“It helps to improve their living conditions, by moving them from torn-out tents to real houses that preserve their dignity and protect them against the cold weather,” QRCS said in a press release

The Municipality of Al-Bab will now take over responsibility for the new town, in collaboration with its resident’s committee

Phase 1 of the project was completed in 2019, providing 116 flats to more than 1,200 people. 

QRCS has been at the forefront of other humanitarian aid work, including monitoring vaccination campaigns in Gaziantep, on the Turkey-Syria border, as well as campaigns inside the war-ravaged country for measles and rubella.

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