This Ramadan, Abu Basam is grieving the loss of his son, his home, and his livelihood – all lost in Syria’s crisis.

“We used to farm and plant seeds,” said Murshed Al-Hakeem Maksous, remembering life before the fighting reached his village in Al Murraa. “We had grape trees and figs, as well as olive trees. We were happy, thank God.”

Then, everything changed. Abu Basam’s son, niece, and nephew – a 35-year old teacher of English and Arabic – are now dead. In total, his small village has lost between nine to 11 people to the crisis. Abu Basam and his surviving relatives have since fled.

“We escaped because we had nothing left. The one who had acres of land now leaves it without planting. The olives have died. The figs have decayed. We have nothing in our hands.”

Hunger and disease in the camp

It is thought that at least 7.6 million Syrians have been forced from their homes since the onset of the crisis in 2011. Many, like Abu Basam, face gruelling conditions inside one of Syria’s many camps for displaced people.

“We need mattresses and blankets, we need food. There are children who got ill and children who died. Some of them got ill here [in the camp]. They took them there to the doctor [but they] died there.”

Now, Abu Basam says he has little left but his faith and the hope that assistance will come.

“I first ask Allah for help, and then help from the people who look after us.”