A war refugee becomes a witness of peace: the Santa Rita 2024 Award to a young Syrian woman who arrived in Italy via the Humanitarian Corridors

A young woman, a Christian Syrian refugee, who arrived in Italy in 2020 via the humanitarian corridors, was awarded the ‘Santa Rita da Cascia 2024’ international prize.

Anna Jabbour reached Italy with her small daughter and her husband after a long and harsh stay in a refugee camp in Lebanon. The prize was awarded to her, the motivation reads, ‘for the testimony of peace, fraternity and faith that she embodies with her story, from war refugee to mother of hope and courage for her daughter and at the same time for all those she meets, never having lost the strong desire to dream and commit herself to a future of humanity and unity that can erase all hatred and suffering’.
At the award ceremony, Anna recounted with emotion the tragic experience of the war that began in 2011, during which she married. The birth of her daughter in 2016, prompted her and her husband to leave Syria and head to Lebanon in search of a better future.
Her Christian faith has always sustained her, even when, on arriving in Lebanon, the situation worsened, especially after the port explosion on 4 August 2020, which left them homeless again. 
It was there that Anna learned about the Community of Sant'Egidio's Humanitarian Corridors: ‘It seemed like a dream to us: the chance to live in peace, tranquillity, work and engage in society, the chance for Pamela to live a “normal” life.  In the following months we started to discover Rome and Italy, learning the language. My daughter started school straight away. We never felt alone, our friends from the Community of Sant'Egidio took us by the hand and taught us how to walk. They do the most beautiful thing in the world: they give you hope, the fundamental thing for those who have lived in the darkness of war'.
Today, Anna lives in Rome with her family, works and participates in the Community's initiatives for the poor and prayers for peace: ‘Today we are serene, my husband works in a cleaning company and I work with an elderly lady, we live near her. Pamela is happy to study and have friends from school. So we thought of giving back the gift we received, and we made many friends with the poor and other refugees who arrived with the ‘Humanitarian Corridors’".