A new generation of Syrians adapt to life in exile

McClatchy reports: Rima Flihan, a 36-year-old screenwriter and mother of two, is finally adjusting to life outside Syria.

“We used to have a normal life,” she said. “I never dreamed we’d be refugees.”

A Syrian television channel is presently airing a series she wrote last year, and another was filmed last month, she said, making the fact she is no longer in the country even more surreal.

“We are learning what depression is,” she said. “At first, when I would go to sleep, I would wake up and wonder where I was. For four months I refused to remember my (Jordanian) cellphone number.”

Flihan left Syria in September, after the government issued a second arrest warrant for her because she had participated in anti-government protests. She already had been arrested and beaten once.

Flihan is just one of the tens of thousands who have fled Syria to Jordan, Lebanon, Turkey and Iraq since demonstrations against Syrian President Bashar Assad began a little more than a year ago. The peaceful demonstrations now have been supplanted by an armed insurgency; some groups put the number that have fled the country at more than 100,000. The United Nations has said that more than 200,000 Syrians have been displaced inside the country by the fighting.

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