HAZY MORNING VIEW OF MEXICO FROM TEXAS

HAZY MORNING VIEW OF MEXICO FROM TEXAS

Photo taken by Linden Hudson (amateur photog).

Who is Linden Hudson?

CLASSICBANDS DOT COM said: “According to former roadie David Blayney in his book SHARP DRESSED MEN: sound engineer Linden Hudson co-wrote much of the material on the ZZ Top ELIMINATOR album.” (end quote)

(ZZ Top never opted to give Linden credit, which would have been THE decent thing to do. It would have helped Linden’s career as well. The band and management worked ruthlessly to take FULL credit for the hugely successful album which Linden had spent a good deal of time working on. Linden works daily to tell this story. Also, the band did not opt to pay Linden, they worked to keep all the money and they treated Linden like dirt. It was abuse. Linden launched a limited lawsuit, brought about using his limited resources which brought limited results and took years. No one should treat the co-writer of their most successful album like this. It’s just deeply fucked up.)
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(see full story at Linden’s website: www.linden-hudson.com/birth-of-the-zz-top-eliminator-album )
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Hear the original ZZ Top ELIMINATOR writing/rehearsal tapes made by Linden Hudson and Billy Gibbons at: www.flickr.com/photos/152350852@N02/35711891332/in/photol…
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LICKLIBRARY DOT COM (2013 interview) ZZ TOP’S BILLY GIBBONS SAID: “the Eliminator sessions in 1983 were guided largely by another one of our associates, Linden Hudson, a gifted engineer, during the development of those compositions.” (end quote) (Gibbons admits this after 30 years, but offers Linden no apology or reparations for lack of credit/royalties)
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MUSICRADAR DOT COM (2013 interview with ZZ Top’s guitarist Billy Gibbons broke 30 years of silence about Linden Hudson introducing synthesizers into ZZ Top’s sound.) Gibbons said: “This was a really interesting turning point. We had befriended somebody who would become an influential associate, a guy named Linden Hudson. He was a gifted songwriter and had production skills that were leading the pack at times. He brought some elements to the forefront that helped reshape what ZZ Top were doing, starting in the studio and eventually to the live stage. Linden had no fear and was eager to experiment in ways that would frighten most bands. But we followed suit, and the synthesizers started to show up on record.” (once again, there was no apology from ZZ Top or Billy Gibbons after this revelation).
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TEXAS MONTHLY MAGAZINE (Dec 1996, By Joe Nick Patoski): "Linden Hudson floated the notion that the ideal dance music had 124 beats per minute; then he and Gibbons conceived, wrote, and recorded what amounted to a rough draft of an album before the band had set foot inside Ardent Studios."
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FROM THE BOOK: SHARP DRESSED MEN – ZZ TOP (By David Blayney) : "Probably the most dramatic development in ZZ Top recording approaches came about as Eliminator was constructed. What had gone on before evolutionary; this change was revolutionary. ZZ Top got what amounted to a new bandsman (Linden) for the album, unknown to the world at large and at first even to Dusty and Frank."
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CNET DOT COM: (question posed to ZZ Top): Sound engineer Linden Hudson was described as a high-tech music teacher on your highly successful "Eliminator" album. How much did the band experiment with electronic instruments prior to that album?
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THE HOUSTON CHRONICLE, MARCH 2018: "Eliminator" had a tremendous impact on us and the people who listen to us," says ZZ Top’s bass player. Common band lore points to production engineer Linden Hudson suggesting that 120 beats per minute was the perfect rock tempo, or "the people’s tempo" as it came to be known.
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FROM THE BOOK: SHARP DRESSED MEN – ZZ TOP by David Blayney: (page 227): "…the song LEGS Linden Hudson introduced the pumping synthesizer effect."
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(Search Linden Hudson in the various ZZ Top Wikipedia pages which are related to the ELIMINATOR album and you will find bits about Linden. Also the main ZZ Top Wikipedia page mentions Linden. He’s mentioned in at least 7 ZZ Top related Wikipedia pages.)
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FROM THE BOOK: SHARP DRESSED MEN – ZZ TOP By David Blayney: "Linden found himself in the position of being Billy’s (Billy Gibbons, ZZ Top guitarist) closest collaborator on Eliminator. In fact, he wound up spending more time on the album than anybody except Billy. While the two of them spent day after day in the studio, they were mostly alone with the equipment and the ideas."
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FROM THE BOOK: BEER DRINKERS & HELL RAISERS: A ZZ TOP GUIDE (By Neil Daniels, released 2014): "Hudson reportedly had a significant role to play during the planning stages of the release (ELIMINATOR)."
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FROM THE BOOK: ZZ TOP – BAD AND WORLDWIDE (ROLLING STONE PRESS, WRITTEN BY DEBORAH FROST): "Linden was always doing computer studies. It was something that fascinated him, like studio technology. He thought he might understand the components of popular songs better if he fed certain data into his computer. It might help him understand what hits (song releases) of any given period share. He first found out about speed; all the songs he studied deviated no more than one beat from 120 beats per minute. Billy immediately started to write some songs with 120 beats per minute. Linden helped out with a couple, like UNDER PRESSURE and SHARP DRESSED MAN. Someone had to help Billy out. Dusty and Frank didn’t even like to rehearse much. Their studio absence wasn’t really a problem though. The bass and drum parts were easily played with a synthesizer or Linn drum machine." (end quote)
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FROM THE BOOK: "SHARP DRESSED MEN – ZZ TOP" BY DAVID BLAYNEY: "After his quantitative revelations, Linden informally but instantly became ZZ Top’s rehearsal hall theoretician, producer, and engineer." (end quote)
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FROM THE BOOK: "ZZ TOP – BAD AND WORLDWIDE" (ROLLING STONE PRESS, BY DEBORAH FROST): "With the release of their ninth album, ELIMINATOR, in 1983, these hairy, unlikely rock heroes had become a pop phenomenon. This had something to do with the discoveries of a young preproduction engineer (Linden Hudson) whose contributions, like those of many associated with the band over the years, were never acknowledged."
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FROM THE BOOK: ​SHARP DRESSED MEN – ZZ TOP (By DAVID BLAYNEY) : "The integral position Linden occupied in the process of building El​iminator was demonstrated eloquently in the case of song Under Pressure. Billy and Linden, the studio wizards, did the whole song all in one afternoon without either the bass player or drummer even knowing it had been written and recorded on a demo tape. Linden synthesized the bass and drums and helped write the lyrics; Billy did the guitars and vocals."
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FROM THE BOOK: "TRES HOMBRES – THE STORY OF ZZ TOP" BY DAVID SINCLAIR (Writer for the Times Of London): "Linden Hudson, the engineer/producer who lived at Beard’s house (ZZ’s drummer) had drawn their attention to the possibilities of the new recording technology and specifically to the charms of the straight drumming pattern, as used on a programmed drum machine. On ELIMINATOR ZZ Top unveiled a simple new musical combination that cracked open a vast worldwide market.
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FROM THE BOOK: "SHARP DRESS MEN – ZZ TOP" BY DAVID BLAYNEY: "ELIMINATOR went on to become a multi-platinum album, just as Linden had predicted when he and Billy were setting up the 124-beat tempos and arranging all the material. Rolling Stone eventually picked the album as number 39 out of the top 100 of the 80’s. Linden Hudson in a fair world shoud have had his name all over ELIMINATOR and gotten the just compensation he deserved. Instead he got ostracized."
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FROM THE BOOK: ​SHARP DRESSED MEN – ZZ TOP by DAVID BLAYNEY: "He (Linden) went back with the boys to 1970 when he was working as a radio disc jocky aliased Jack Smack. He was emcee for a show ZZ did around that time, and even sang an encore tune with the band, perhaps the only person ever to have that honor." (side note: this was ZZ Top’s very first show).
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FROM THE BOOK: "SHARP DRESSED MEN – ZZ TOP" BY DAVID BLAYNEY: "Linden remained at Frank’s (ZZ Top drummer) place as ZZ’s live-in engineer throughout the whole period of ELIMINATOR rehearsals, and was like one of the family… as he (Linden) worked at the controls day after day, watching the album (ELIMINATOR) take shape, his hopes for a big step forward in his production career undoubtably soared. ELIMINATOR marked the first time that ZZ Top was able to rehearse an entire album with the recording studio gadgetry that Billy so loved. With Linden Hudson around all the time, it also was the first time the band could write, rehearse, and record with someone who knew the men and the machines. ZZ Top was free to go musically crazy, but also musically crazy like a fox. Linden made that possible too."
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FROM THE BOOK "ZZ TOP – BAD AND WORLDWIDE" (ROLLING STONE PRESS, BY DEBORAH FROST, WRITER FOR ROLLING STONE MAGAZINE): "… SHARP DRESSED MAN which employed Hudson’s 120 beat-per-minute theory. The feel, the enthusiasm, the snappy beat and crisp clean sound propelled ELIMINATOR into the ears and hearts of 5 million people who previously could have cared less about the boogie band of RIO GRANDE MUD."
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ULTIMATECLASSICROCK DOT COM: "This new melding of styles was encouraged by Hudson, who served as a kind of pre-producer for ​EL LOCO … … Hudson helped construct ZZ Top drummer Frank Beard’s home studio, and had lived with him for a time. That led to these initial sessions, and then a closer collaboration on 1983’s ​ELIMINATOR.
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FIREDOGLAKE DOT COM: "I like Billy Gibbons’ guitar tone quite a lot, but I lost all respect for them after reading how badly they fucked over Linden Hudson (the guy who was the brains behind their move to include synthesizers and co-wrote most of their career-defining Eliminator record)."
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EMAIL FROM A ZZ TOP FAN TO LINDEN (One Of Many): "I write you today about broken hearts, one is mine and one is for you. I have been a ZZ Top fan since I was 6 years old. I purchased ELIMINATOR vinyl from Caldors in Connecticut with the $20 my grandma gave me for my birthday. I will spare the #1 fan epic saga of tee shirts, harassing Noreen at the fan club via phone weekly for years, over 40 shows attended. Posters, non stop conversation about the time I have spent idolizing this band, but more Billy G, as he has seemed to break free of the Lone Wolf shackles and it became more clear this was his baby. In baseball I was Don Mattingly’s #1 fan, Hershel Walker in football, Billy Gibbons in music. What do these individuals have in common? They were role models. Not a DUI, not a spousal abuse, not a drug overdose, not a cheater. Until I read your web page. I read Blayney’s book around 1992 or so, I was in middle school and I was familiar with your name for a long time. I didn’t realize you suffered so greatly or that your involvement was so significant. It pains me to learn my idol not only cheated but did something so wrong to another being. I now know this is where tall tales and fun loving bullshit and poor morals and ethics are distinguished and where I would no longer consider myself to look up to Billy. I love to joke and I love credit but I have always prided myself on ethics and principles… I hold them dear. I wanted to say, the snippet of UNDER PRESSURE you played sounded very new wave and I may like it more than the finished product. Well that’s all. You have reached ZZ Top’s biggest fan and I can let others know. Bummer. Cheers and good luck. James."​

Posted by lindenhud1 on 2018-05-24 02:47:19

Tagged: , mexico , hazy , beautiful , morning haze , morning , mountains , grass , beauty , fog , mexican_border , border , texas , countryside , outdoors , country

Party never ends

Party never ends

Scanned image. Really nice detail when you zoom in though i ain’t cleaned my scanner window that well. So you see dust and smudges but i like that effect. Just me i guess never liked doing completely polished(perfect) work.
This may go sepia. I think it would suit it.

———————–Useless don’t read =P
Funny story about these pictures i spent half a day scanning( about 20 mins to do one) images one after another until i thought need some tea… Badly! I came back to start the very monotonous task of saving & naming them… Well o.k. i know all of you just went you dumb gout! 😛
Yea it had crashed with all those highly detailed images on my computer it just walked out… Rargh!!! Though while having tea i discovered that oreo’s are just custard creams’ black brother. So all was not lost… Almost.
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Sorry bout the rant* 😛

K So this is my last photo this month as i have reached my limit grr -_- And i would upgrade but I cant afford it yet. So i might another time.

I’m thinking of using sepia on this image i think it will suit it.

More tea!!!

Ty.

xxxx

Posted by Minus the beard on 2008-04-16 21:42:54

Tagged: , flower , yellow , red , scanning , scanner , image , border

Sarp (Turkey) – Border Chaos

Sarp (Turkey) - Border Chaos

Foto: (EN) Bus passengers waiting for the Turkish border to reopen. (DE) Busreisende beim Warten auf die Wiedereröffnung des türkischen Grenzübergangs.

(EN) Luckily for Turkey, the commissars of the European Union use to enter the country by plane and not by land, because regarding the permanent chaos at the land borders, they wouldn’t even have talks. Corruption, chaos, arbitrariness and closures for hours are very usual, at the European as well as at the Asian borders, even at the ferry terminals to North Cyprus. Bus entrepreneurs use to corrupt openly, sometimes they even expect the passengers to contribute. Everybody smuggles, also the passengers. But the worst thing are the computer crashes, which use to cause border closures for hours.
That was the case on my way back home: The Georgian control lasted a few minutes. However, the crossing was already blocked by other cars waiting to cross into Turkey, so the passengers went on by foot, hoping the bus to catch up. It was no problem to get the Turkish entrance stamp, then, but except for our bus, around five other busloads of passengers were waiting in the dust and chaos depicted above. Due to works, the street was single-tracked, and there were around 5 busses, 30 camions and a lot of private cars in front of us. I went all the way to the border gate and asked for the reason for all the chaos. It turned out that the computer system of the Turkish customs had crashed some hours ago, they would’t let in anybody until it would recover. I didn’t want to wait in the chaos on the Turkish side, so I turned back to Georgia to wait in my bus.
At around ten o’clock we finally were on the other side, but at the very last control post, to women of our bus had to leave again – they still didn’t have a Turkish entrance stamp! OK that was more or less intelligible since nobody told them to get it, and there was no written information in any language at all. So we had to wait for 20 minutes more.

(DE) Es ist ein Glück für die Türkei, dass die EU-Kommissare stets per Flugzeug in das Land einreisen, denn angesichts des permanenten Chaos an den Landgrenzen wäre wohl keiner auch nur auf Gespräche eingegangen. Korruption, Chaos, Willkür und stundenlange Schliessungen sind an der Tagesordnung, und zwar sowohl an den europäischen als auch an den asiatischen Grenzen, nicht mal am Fährterminal nach Nordzypern ist es viel besser. Busunternehmer bestechen interessanterweise häufig ganz offen und verlangen von den Passagieren manchmal sogar eine Beteiligung, geschmuggelt wird im grossen Ausmass und zwar auch von den meisten Passagieren. Am schlimmsten sind die Computerabstürze, welche stundenlange Schliessungen der Grenze zur Folge haben können.
Dies war auch der Fall auf meiner Heimreise: Die georgische Kontrolle dauerte wenige Minuten, weil sich die Autos bereits stauten gingen die Passagiere dann zu Fuss in die Türkei. Den Stempel bekam man schnell, doch auf der türkischen Seite warteten noch etwa fünf weitere Busladungen Passagiere auf die Weiterfahrt (siehe die Warterei im Bild). Aufgrund einer Baustelle konnte man nur einspurig einreisen, und vor uns waren neben den fünf Bussen noch mindestens 30 Lastwagen und zahlreiche Autos. Ich ging bis zum Grenztor und fand dort heraus, dass das Computersystem des Zolls schon seit Stunden nicht mehr gehe. Man konnte nicht sagen, wann die Grenze wieder aufginge. Da ich nicht im Staub und Chaos warten wollte, ging ich dann nach Georgien zurück (die unkomplizierten georgischen Zöllner erlaubten dies sogar) und wartete im bequemen Bus.
Gegen zehn Uhr waren wir dann endlich auf der anderen Seite, doch beim letzten Kontrollposten wurden zwei Frauen aus unserem Bus doch nochmals zurückgepfiffen – sie hatten es geschafft, während der stundenlangen Warterei nicht mal einen türkischen Einreisestempel zu holen (verständlich zwar, denn es gibt natürlich niemand, der einen darauf hinweisen würde, geschweige denn Informationstafeln). So mussten wir dann nochmals 20 Minuten warten.

Andere Reiseberichte / Other travel reports:
2014 Bangladesch (mit Indien und Nepal) / Bangladesh
2014 Spitzbergen / Svalbard
2013 Nordkorea / North Korea
2012 Irak / Iraq
2012 Jugra (Autonomer Bezirk der Chanten und Mansen) / Yugra
2011 Abchasien / Abkhazia
2011 Uganda, Kenia
2011 Ägypten während der Revolution / Egypt during Revolution
2009 Kirgistan / Kyrgyzstan
2009 Kuba / Cuba

Posted by Danielzolli on 2008-05-17 19:51:46

Tagged: , turkey , türkei , turquie , turcja , turecko , türkiye , türk , turchia , turquia , kara hudut , hudut , hudut kapisi , kara hudut kapisi , sarp , sarpi , sarp kara hudut kapisi , hopa , artvin , grenze , frontiere , confine , border , frontier , frontiera , hranice , granica , vama , cordon , kordon , chaos , corruption , korruption , european union , beitrittskandidat , eu-kandidat , reisebericht , gürcistan , türkiye,turkey,türkei , travel report , trip report , trip reportage , reisereportage , travelogue , travel report march-april 2008 , reisebericht märz/april 2008 , reisetagebuch

UNHCR News Story: Drought and displacement in Somalia: Fleeing from dust and starvation

UNHCR News Story: Drought and displacement in Somalia: Fleeing from dust and starvation

It’s early in the morning and recently arrived refugees wait in the shade outside the Dagahaley reception centre.
UNHCR / B. Bannon / August 2011

Drought and displacement in Somalia: Fleeing from dust and starvation

DAGAHALEY REFUGEE CAMP, Kenya, August 2 (UNHCR) – Abdulahi Haji Hassan gazes at the exhausted and confused faces of his family and contemplates the toll that drought and famine has taken on their lives. His two-year-old son, Madey, leans listlessly against his mother’s breast.

Fama, Abdulahi’s four-year-old daughter, is covered in dust from the 27-day trek through the howling desert from their home near Baidoa in southern Somalia to the Kenyan border. Her tears form pathways along her dust-covered face. His wife Haway’s lips tighten at the thought that it could be years before she sees home. But Abdulahi has made a life-changing calculation. "My home is nothing but dust and starvation," he says. "I cannot go back there."

Walking towards asylum was not a matter of choice. The family livelihood depended on herding animals. Abdulahi’s 70 goats and 30 cows fell ill and died one-by-one as the worst drought in memory denied the animals water and feed. The livestock were in many ways considered to be part of his extended family and their loss was catastrophic.

When the last cow died, everyone knew that the children would be next. Abdulahi’s mother told him to leave the village. "I want your children not to die of hunger," she said. "You go anywhere you can to get help and I will pray for you to get there safely."

The Hassan family is among the 1,300 refugees who arrive daily from Somalia to the camps around Dadaab in north-east Kenya, including Dagahaley. The ability of UNHCR to accommodate the new arrivals people improves each day, but running a refugee city of 400,000 is daunting. UNHCR and the government of Kenya have taken great strides forward. But more resources are needed to protect the vulnerable, provide shelter and see to health needs.

The Journey

For those fleeing Somalia, the first and perhaps most painful undertaking is the journey itself. The Hassan family organized their expedition with seven other families. They took with them all they had left in the world; a donkey cart made from a discarded car axle, a bag of ground maize and a large plastic container of water.

They rested by day and walked by night. After a week, time folded in on itself. "All the nights you travel are the same. There is no good night and no bad night. There is only night," Abdulahi says. "You think about the situation of your children, which one you are worried about. I worried about the smallest of course." The children ate small servings of maize and water while the parents largely went without.

When he wasn’t thinking about his children, Abdulahi’s thoughts turned to his mother. This was the first time he had spent more than a day away from her. Even atop a donkey cart, she was too old and frail to survive the journey. "She told me that she would pray for me. She told me that I would reach my destination," Abdulahi says.

Though she was staying with another of his brothers, thoughts of her swirled in Hassan’s mind: "Would she be missing anything to eat? Would she be sick? Would she die before I could come home again? I didn’t cry but I was so much worried."

As they approached the Kenyan border, the group encountered bandits. Brandishing AK-47 assault rifles, the robbers searched through every sack. "When they found nothing, they started beating us with the back of their guns," Abdulahi says. One of his brothers sustained two broken ribs.

The Reception

It’s seven in the morning and recently arrived refugees congregate in clutches in front of the entrance to the Dagahaley camp reception centre. An old woman coughs into the morning air, complaining of illness. Mariam Mohamud, 30, has given birth to a baby girl during the night. Mariam wraps her child in a red cloth and holds her between her arms.

Health workers from UNHCR partner Médecins Sans Frontières spot mother and child and bring them to the reception centre clinic. Hassan Abdi normally prides himself on maintaining an even-keeled professionalism, but now the emotions are apparent on the doctor’s face.

He reaches for the tiny child and holds her delicately in his hands. After a few minutes, he breathes a sigh of relief. "This baby is just fine," he says. Her mother is exhausted and has yet to name the infant. They settle on Mariam. Mother and daughter are placed in an ambulance bound for the local hospital, along with severely malnourished Muhammed Abdulahi. At two years of age Abdulahi weighs just five kilogrammes – a bit more than most newly born babies.

Meanwhile staff members from the Kenyan government, UNHCR and its partners process the newly arrived, provide them with food and non-food items. Mothers, fathers and children pass through a line where fingerprints are taken and vital information fed into UNHCR’s computer database. The process is critical to tracking the flow of asylum-seekers and ensuring that all who need assistance get it.

In line, families sit together quietly. It is a relatively peaceful moment in an existence filled with desperation. It takes about 90 minutes for UNHCR and its partner to register a refugee, provide an initial medical assessment, give them food and other items and screen for those who are most vulnerable. "Don’t let the calmness fool you," says Roger Naylor, a UNHCR field officer in Dagahaley. "The reason why it’s calm is because we are extremely well organized and these refugees are exhausted."

David Owalo Magolo, 48, has worked at the refugee camps around Dadaab since 1996. He has never seen an emergency as critical as the one he is now facing. "The women and the children have suffered tremendously. When they are walking [towards Kenya] they often have to take several children with them. They walk 500 metres with one child, put him down then go back to pick up the next."

The faces of refugees are branded into David’s mind and he believes it is only a matter of time until they make their way into his dreams at night. He works hard to focus on the other moments in this crisis – the ones that give him a sense of pride and of hope.

"The best part of the day is when you see that someone has been received into the system," he says. "They are given food and clothing . . . We have screened their health, they have food, non-food items like cooking pots and pans. They have something to begin with."

Members of the local community, many of whom have lived in Dadaab for nearly 20 years, have also sought to help. "When we saw the refugees arriving, members of the religious and youth community inside the camps decided that they needed to help," says 38-year-old refugee, Mahat Ahmed. "We told people, if you have two shirts, give one. If you have two pairs of shoes give one pair."

The word, of how refugees gave what little they had, spread to other parts of the Somali diaspora. Soon Somali businessmen and others, from Nairobi to North America, donated to the cause. Each day, truckloads of milk, biscuits and clothes arrive at the refugee camps and are distributed to families in plastic bags.

These refugee humanitarians see their effort not as a single act, but as a signal for all who want to help. "It is a matter of faith," says refugee Barre Osman, 24, who distributes milk and biscuits. "Human hearts are connected and our hearts are as one. We all come from Adam and Eve and we are all brothers and sisters."

By Greg Beals in Dagahaley Refugee Camp, Kenya

Posted by UNHCR on 2011-08-03 10:01:44

Tagged: , horn , horn of africa , emergency , drought , women , reception , Waiting , new arrivals children , UNHCR , UN refugee agency , Dagahaley reception centre , refugees , Somali refugees , Kenya , refugee camp , camp , family , Baidoa , asylum , assistance , aid , help , protection , Dagahaley , arrival , shelter , news story , news , information , famine , children , journey , border , Dadaab , Dagahaley camp reception centre , health , Médecins Sans Frontières , mother , child , relief , natural catastrophe , natural disaster , reception centre , hijab

UNHCR News Story: Syrians in Jordan: preventing the most vulnerable from falling through the cracks

UNHCR News Story: Syrians in Jordan: preventing the most vulnerable from falling through the cracks

UNHCR community service worker Ameera Faraj tends to the emergency needs of refugees.
UNHCR / G. Beals / February 2013

Syrians in Jordan: preventing the most vulnerable from falling through the cracks

AMMAN, Jordan, March 7 (UNHCR) – It’s morning and a 70-year-old Syrian man stands outside the UNHCR building in Amman among hundreds of other asylum-seekers. His trousers are dirty. His black shoes, covered in dust, are falling apart. His hands shake uncontrollably, bouncing off his frayed coffee-coloured sweater. His 60-year-old wife helps to keep him standing. A hijab (veil) covers her head.

Heba Azazieh, a senior field associate, sees the couple. At first she thinks the man is suffering from the morning cold, but she soon learns that he’s shaking because of the terrible violence he has seen. "May God protect your ears from what we will tell you," the woman says.

She recalls that when the Syrian conflict began in March 2011 tanks rolled through the streets of their home city of Homs. Snipers set up position on rooftops, sending the old man into a fit of convulsive fear. Neighbours said it was not safe to stay and the couple fled, hoping to return in a few days. "We left with the clothes on our back," the old man tells the attentive Azazieh.

Their money was consumed in no time. Three days later, they called their neighbours who told them that armed men had taken over their home. Shells had obliterated the verandah. Everything was lost.

And now they’re in real need of help: the old man’s UNHCR registration papers are out of date; the local pharmacy will no longer provide him with the medicine that controls his shaking; and there is a problem accessing his monthly cash grant of US$140 from UNHCR. For some reason he can’t withdraw money using the ATM card he was given, and it is this cash that keeps them alive.

It’s a typical case for UNHCR’s Azazieh, who heads up a small response unit designed to listen and act on the emergency needs of refugees like the elderly couple. She quickly renews the man’s papers and calls an associate to deal with the bank problem. It may seem simple, but Azazieh and her professional, caring team are providing a vital service.

More than 360,000 Syrians have sought shelter in Jordan and many arrive desperate and in need of urgent medical, material and other assistance. Some, like the old couple, face fresh problems after arrival. UNHCR has supported Jordan in its efforts to coordinate the response to the Syrian crisis and has provided critical goods and services to the displaced.

But doing so is an immense challenge. As insecurity in Syria prevails, thousands of mostly women and children are fleeing to Jordan daily through official and unofficial crossing points. The majority of the exodus is dispersed across urban and rural communities.

Azazieh’s team helps those in need from all over the country. No appointment is necessary. Potential emergency cases are referred to the appropriate staff. The objective is to protect the most vulnerable from falling through the cracks. Some of those who do not receive regular assistance suffer from everything from serious medical conditions to sexual violence and exploitation.

On the day that Azazieh, who is Syrian-Jordanian, meets the old couple, there are about 500 other people waiting to be seen. Her job is to direct the flow of misery efficiently. "Cases that we would previously consider as the exception are becoming the norm," she says, gesturing to an area where refugees register. It is packed with older people and the sick as well as single mothers and their children.

Urgent cases are referred to UNHCR’s community services team. In the basement of the office, these refugees line up to speak in private with a team of specialists. Ameera Faraj, a community services worker, listens and tries to help as one family after another tell of how their world came to be broken.

In the small interviewing room, Faraj faces a 32-year-old woman with her five children, ranging in age from 10 years to seven months. Her five-year-old daughter has fallen in love with Faraj’s computer. Her mother tells her to stop being a nuisance, but Faraj is happy to see the little girl smile. "Don’t worry, darling," she says to the mother. "Your little girl is not a problem for me."

The woman and her children live off the US$6 per day that she earns collecting vegetables for local farmers. She lives in a makeshift shelter in the countryside. She has no cooking utensils. She arrived from Syria because she was afraid for the safety of her little ones.

Faraj looks at the youngest boy and her face suddenly turns serious. She examines his hands and feet. She stares at his sunken eyes. "This boy is malnourished," she says. "You need to take him to a health centre immediately." The woman quietly protests. "If I take him to the health centre, I will lose my day’s pay," the woman says. "I have five children to feed."

Faraj’s tone suddenly turns sharp. This is not a request. "You will take this child to a health centre so that he can receive treatment." she says "You will not save your son from Syria to lose him in Jordan." The woman is given emergency cash assistance to help cover her immediate needs. UNHCR field officers will soon visit her at her home to ensure that her children are going to school and that she is safe. Her eyes well up and she exhales.

The community services worker has no time to rest. As the woman leaves, a man in a wheelchair presses into the room. He too has nothing. He lives on the second floor of a building and must pull his body up the stairs. He needs to pay the rent and his daughter needs to go to school.

Faraj will see as many people as possible today. And when she goes home to her own family she will keep her telephone on. There are women at risk of sexual violence who know how to reach her. She could be needed again. This is the rhythm of her life in an emergency.

By Greg Beals in Amman, Jordan

Posted by UNHCR on 2013-03-08 09:35:44

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