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Admon from Syria: caregiver to the elderly in Rome

November 21 2019 - ROME, ITALY

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Admon Alhabib is 20 years old. He left Al-Qaryatayn, near Homs in Syria, in 2016, after rebel troops and militants loyal to President Bashar al-Assad razed his town to the ground. His father died of a heart attack while fleeing the city. Now Admon studies and works in Rome. In the evening, he attends a school and during the day, he assists two elderly people. He also does volunteer work together with the Community of Sant'Egidio. Every weekend he visits residents at the Santa Margherita retirement home in the San Saba district of Rome. This gives Admon the opportunity to meet people who have seen and experienced the growth of Italy from the post-war period to the present day.

Admon arrived in Italy on his own initiative, through the humanitarian corridors of the Community of Sant'Egidio with the Federation of Evangelical Churches in Italy, the Waldensian Church and the Caritas branch of the Italian Bishops’ Conference. Almost 2,500 people have arrived in Italy since February 2016, many of them fleeing the wars in Syria and the Horn of Africa.

The humanitarian corridors were set up to avoid refugees attempting to cross the Mediterranean by boat. This route has left hundred dead, many of them children. They also help prevent human trafficking. Mostly, they assist vulnerable people (victims of persecution, torture and violence, families with children, the elderly, the sick, the disabled) to obtain legal entry into Italy with a humanitarian visa and, therefore, the possibility to apply for asylum later.