The War in Syria has created some 10M refugees from a total population of 23M. Approx 6.5M are internally displaced and some 3.5M have fled the country. Millions of houses and apartments are now reduced to rubble. 250,000 to 300,000 people have died as a result of the extremely complicated civil war war which has many participating actors. More than the combined dead of Hiroshima and Nagasaki.
Turkey has accommodated the largest numbers who have fled and now hosts 1.9M Syrian refugees, give or take. They are mostly in camps set up by the Turkish government close to the Syrian border, but camp conditions are poor and many have departed them for a life of begging in the major Turkish cities.
Took this shot in March this year in a shopping street in Istanbul, which is typical of what one encounters throughout the entire city. MB noticed that many do not look up as they beg, instead holding their heads down with eyes looking only at the ground in their new found shame as they extend a hand or bowl for an offering.
MB has many Syrian friends and can only describe their state of mind as one of shock. Never in their wildest dreams or nightmares did they think their country could descend to such levels of barbarity and chaos, within a period of 2 to 3 short years. A few years back Syria was one of the more sophisticated countries in the entire region with people of all religions living peacefully side by side. That’s now a very dim and distant memory.