NORTHERN JORDAN (BP) -- They shot him nine times in the legs and torso.
Faraj* shows the ugly scars to prove it. A bullet in his knee can't be removed. His crime? He was a teacher in Syria; he spoke out publicly against the regime of Bashar al-Assad when anti-government protests began last year. Thousands have died for less -- on both sides -- in a civil war now reducing large parts of Syria to dust.
Faraj survived his wounds and escaped with his wife and five children to Jordan, where more than 250,000 Syrian refugees crowd towns and dirt-caked tents in desert camps along the border. The family occupies a few dingy rooms in one such town. Wet cardboard hangs from the leaky kitchen ceiling, where the night chill of oncoming winter seeps in. Faraj wants to work, but there are few jobs for Syrians in Jordan's already hard-pressed economy. No education, either -- many Syrian children have been out of school for nearly two years because of the war.
Faraj's 10-year-old daughter Aisha* sits beside him, bright-eyed and eager. She dreams of studying English, but remains at home while her father teaches her as best he can.
"Every day my daughter is crying to go to school, and no one listens to her," Faraj says. "Every day I go to the school near here, but they tell me to go away and they will call."
No call comes. The schools are full -- reflecting how Jordan is straining under the load of refugees fleeing regional conflicts from Iraq to Libya.
But Faraj has new hope. A Sunni Muslim, he was welcomed to the area by Jordanian Christians at a local church. They helped his family find shelter and brought them food, a fan and a refrigerator. And they treated him like a human being -- a friend, even. They also gave him a Bible, which he now reads with growing interest because of what it contains: truth.
"It doesn't lie," he says, with an expression of near-amazement. "And Christian people are honest. They don't lie. This is what interests me."
Could he ever forgive those who tried to kill him? "Yes, I might," he answers. "Because I am reading the Injil [New Testament] every day, and I am seeing many things in it about forgiveness, love and peace. These are things I want to have."
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More and more, such epiphanies are occurring among the overwhelmingly Muslim refugees streaming by the hundreds of thousands ... Read More