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“The flow of refugees is great. We see the suffering they are going through and how we can support them,” says Sister Elizabeth Mary, one of the Dominican Sisters of the Presentation of Mary who staff the facility.

“Whatever funds we receive, they’re used because the people never stop coming. We are always looking for help,” adds the soft-spoken sister.

“It’s normal to see refugees here at the Italian Hospital, which is not the case with other hospitals in Amman. At every level, our staff is prepared to aid them, and the refugees also feel good about coming to our hospital,” Mr. Samawi says.

“Thousands of people are benefiting from our health care program handling mid-sized surgeries,” says Ra’ed Bahou, CNEWA’s regional director for Jordan and Iraq, which supports the Catholic hospital’s care for refugees and the poor. “Now, we are trying to help with larger surgeries — heart operations and some cancer and hernia treatments.”

Until recently, the U.N. High Council for Refugees also channeled assistance to the hospital through Caritas, but that aid has ended, straining the resources of the facility and its partner, CNEWA.

Those Iraqi Christians who fled ISIS come to the Italian Hospital primarily for the treatment of hypertension and diabetes, says medical director Dr. Khalid Shammas. Others suffer from chronic heart problems and strokes. Often, he says, the diseases are related to the enormous stress from the loss of homes, livelihoods and more.

“We listen to them. There is struggle, loss and disappointment. It’s no wonder the refugees are depressed,” says Sister Elizabeth.

“Their psychological condition directly affects their physical well-being.”

Rafael Oraha, 69, has been treated at the Italian Hospital for his prostate and herniated discs in his back. He is also one of 160 people of all ages benefiting from a psychosocial support program that began last October. It is one of the few initiatives in Jordan addressing the enormous trauma faced by the Iraqi Christians.

“I am sick, and we are all tired. ISIS took our home. We are asking God to grant us stability and comfort so we can adapt to our new situation and our life,” says the once-successful eyeglass shop owner from Mosul.

“We need to know where we are going,” the graying man implores during a group therapy session at St. George Greek Orthodox Church in Amman’s Hashmi al Shamali district.

The area has been dubbed “the new Qaraqosh,” after one of the predominantly Christian villages in Iraq captured by ISIS militants. Many former residents now live in this low-income district of Amman.

“We are trying to help them to be aware of what they are passing through and to teach some techniques, such as relaxation and coping skills,” says Dr. Abeer El-Far, a counseling psychologist who heads the program.

She says some of the refugees are able to adjust because families or friends left together and provide support to one another. But their Christian faith has also played an important role, Dr. El-Far says.

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