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Qatar lays foundation brick for Al Karama city for internally displaced Syrians

Syrians represent 6.5 million of 35.3 million refugees worldwide.

Qatar Charity (QC) has laid the foundation brick for the ‘Al Karama’ city in northern Aleppo, a project that is set to house 8,500 internally displaced Syrians, a statement on Wednesday announced.

The Qatari organisation gathered donations for the new city during a major local campaign on the 27th night of Ramadan, which raised QAR 33 million within a record time of three hours. 

Translating to “dignity” in Arabic, Al Karama aims to provide internally displaced persons (IDP’s) with a dignified life.

“The city was named ‘Al Karama’ with the aim of preserving the dignity of IDPs by providing them with safe housing, dignified life, and comprehensive essential services,” QC said in a statement.

The Qatari entity is building the city near the Al-Bab city in the northern Aleppo countryside with the support of the Turkish Gaziantep Province to provide “safe and model housing” for IDP’s. 

The new city includes 1,680 residential units, four schools, a kindergarten, a primary healthcare centre, and a mosque with capacity for 600 worshippers, among other key facilities.

Last year, QC completed the ‘Al Amal’ city to provide 1,400 houses to more than 8,800 IDP’s in northern Syria. 

“This is a fully equipped multi-service city, which includes all essential facilities such as educational institutions, kindergartens, a mosque, a healthcare centre, a market, and children’s play area,” QC said at the time.

The Assad regime has caused the world’s biggest refugee crisis since plunging the country into war in 2011. According to the UN, Syrians represent 6.5 million of 35.3 million refugees worldwide.

Qatar has long called for a political resolution in Syria and has consistently voiced its refusal to normalise with the Assad regime, noting such a move would be a betrayal of the Syrian people.

Notably, IDP’s were the hardest hit by deadly earthquakes which struck Turkiye as well as neighbouring northern Syria in February, killing at least 50,000 people in total.

According to the UN, at least 1.7 million Syrian refugees were also among the 15 million affected in Turkiye by the earthquakes. Figures show at least 5.3 million Syrians affected by the years-long conflict had already required shelter even before the earthquakes struck.

Qatar and Turkiye inked an additional agreement on Wednesday for reconstruction efforts to help earthquake-affected individuals in the country. Under the agreement, both countries are expected to establish social housing for orphans in Gaziantep.

“We at Qatar Charity emphasize the importance of supporting reconstruction projects in the areas that were affected in both Turkey and northern Syria, especially after the devastating earthquake that struck these regions in February,” Yousuf bin Ahmed al-Kuwari, Qatar Charity’s CEO said.

Al Kuwari added: “We also continue our relentless humanitarian efforts in establishing qualitative cities to house IDP’s within Syria to preserve their human dignity.”