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Everyone should read this heart-breaking letter from a Syrian refugee

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The below letter was handed to a UN worker at the Zaatari refugee camp in Jordan by a Syrian man who had fled the country's civil war.

Nasreddine Touaibia, who works for the UN's refugee agency, posted these photos on Twitter after he was given the letter yesterday by a 21-year-old, one of 80,000 refugees at Zaatari, who has been at the camp for two years with his sister and their parents.

In the letter, supposedly written on a UNHCR ration card, the unnamed refugee explains the pain he and his sister feel after being forced to abandon their university studies in Damascus, where they were reading English literature.

My sister, who has spent three bitter successive years without study, sheds tears day by night. She is in a pitiful state lying in the caravan. Both of us have lost the most precious thing in our life, our studies.

After issuing a plea to be granted asylum in the west, he writes: "If we have the chance to live there we'll fulfill our dreams. Aren't we human beings? Are we born to eat drink and sleep only?

"What's our sin and fault? Aren't we worthy of honourable life? Our life has become unbearable hell? Please help us."

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The back story to the letter is even more heart-breaking. Mr Touaibia explained to i100.co.uk that the man who wrote the letter had actually won a scholarship limited to 40 refugees to take them away from the camps and into the campus.

But the man approached aid workers and asked if the scholarship could be given to his sister instead, and when told that it was not possible he decided to decline the offer.

"I can't go to university and leave my sister in the camp, it is also her dream and it will break her heart if I went without her as it is a dream for both of us to go back to studying at uni," the man told the UNHCR.

It is understood that after "a lot of counselling" the man has decided to take up the opportunity, although he has not left for university yet and is still "insisting on doing something for his sister".

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Letter reproduced with kind permission of UNHCR - Nasreddine Touaibia (@NasserTouaibia)

Zaatari photos via Getty


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