The Gaza Strip is one of the most densely populated areas in the world, where 1.7 million Palestinians live on 139 square miles. More than half of the population is constituted of refugees, who in 1948 fled or were expelled from their original homes in what is now Israel, to find themselves on an unfamiliar territory that was not originally their own.
Approximately 750,000 Palestinians were displaced and became refugees as a result of the 1948 war which led to the founding of Israel. None of these displaced persons were ever allowed to return to the homes or communities from which they were displaced and the Palestinian refugee population has continued to grow in the time that has passed since 1948. Today there are more than 7 million Palestinian refugees scattered around the world. The reality of Palestinian forced displacement is at the core of the Palestinian experience and the Palestinian refugee issue is at the hea
Two million people and counting have fled Syria to escape the fighting, each one leaving behind everything familiar in their daily lives. Their arrival in Lebanon, Jordan, and Turkey is straining their neighbors' economies and public services. Learn more about this growing international problem.
Lama's home is in the Darayya district of Damascus, Syria.
Lama Darayya is a Syrian refugee currently living in Turkey. Five months ago, she was forced to flee her hometown of Darayya in the Damascus district because it was no longer safe for her to stay.
Like over 2 million people still in Syria but displaced from their homes because of the violence, Lama had already fled her home with her family three times before she crossed the border toward neighboring Lebanon. It was exasperating for her to flee for a fourth time.
Award showcases city’s planning, partnership with immigrant allies
PHILADELPHIA (July 1, 2013) - The American Friends Service Committee (AFSC) congratulates Dayton, OH on its “Outstanding Achievement” award recognizing its Welcome Dayton immigrant friendly city initiative. The U.S. Conference of Mayors recognizes mayoral leadership in developing and implementing programs that improve the quality of life in America’s cities.
In recognition of World Refugee Day on June 20, and in honor of the thousands of refugees who now call Iowa home, AFSC Iowa’s Immigrants Voice Program (IVP) presents this four-minute video of one mother and son, reunited after 14 years of being apart.
Film showing American Friends Service Committee work in France during World War II. Howard Kershner, director of the program provides explanation of the work and where Quaker programs were established. Includes footage of feeding programs and children's colonies in France. Featured is footage of the La Rouviere Children's Colony located outside Marseille, France.
AFSC is a Quaker organization devoted to service, development, and peace programs throughout the world. Our work is based on the belief in the worth of every person, and faith in the power of love to overcome violence and injustice. Learn more
Where we work
AFSC has offices around the world. To see a complete list see the Where We Work page.