Syrian Man Shares Story of Daughter’s Shooting as Family Fled Homs, Syria

A picture taken on September 30, 2015 shows a general view of deserted streets and damaged buildings in the central Syrian town of Talbisseh in the Homs province.

The Syrian Civil War has forced hundreds of thousands of citizens to flee their homes for safety. Ahmad Mohammed and his family survived to tell their story, even though his 11-year-old daughter was shot in the head.

As they left, he saw his daughter Sara slumped over and caked in blood.

“Immediately I knew Sara had been shot,” he described. “I was awake, but I couldn’t understand the situation. I was present, but I wasn’t there. It was as if I was in a different world. I turned to Sara. Her left hand and her left leg stopped moving, she couldn’t feel them.”

They found a hospital and received treatment.

“When they cleaned between the skin and the skull they left a few small parts of the bullet behind,” he continued. “When she woke up, she asked me, ‘What would you have done without me? If I’m gone, what would you do without me?’ Thank god she didn’t die.”

Sam Tarling/Oxfam

Sam Tarling/Oxfam

The family made it to the Zaatari camp in Jordan where almost 80,000 Syrian refugees live. The World Food Programme offered 168 Jordanian Dinars ($236.94) a month for food and clothing. But now the aid totals 69.93 dinars ($98.62). Mohammed tries to find as much work as possible, even though the camps do not allow jobs. If he is caught working, his family could lose their spot or be shipped back to Syria. Europe is on his mind as a possible relocation so he can provide more for his family of seven.

Sam Tarling/Oxfam

Sam Tarling/Oxfam

“We have one life and one death,” he said. “I’ve faced death several times. I’ve nearly been shot three times and I’ve seen people killed in front of me. By now I should be dead. I’m willing to take the risk and face the danger of traveling to Europe if it will help my children have a better life.”

He added: “I know there’s no place that you can have 100 per cent human rights but, at the same time, sometimes in Europe it can be better. Of course I would still feel Syrian, Syria is my country and my kids should feel the same. For me, I try to forget about Syria. I left my life there. Even my kids, they left their childhood there.”

They will feel like Syrians but there’s no future for them there now. It’s not only the buildings tumbling down, it’s everything, even the human beings. I haven’t see wars, I haven’t seen conflict like my kids have, so you can expect what kind of future they will have.

What I hope or expect from Europe is that there they will have a better financial situation and the UN agencies would give us more help there, even the governments themselves, they would help us. My kids can learn and work and they can get food, anything that they need.

On Tuesday, the United Nations asked Jordan to accept 12,000 more refugees stranded at the border.

“It includes elderly people, it includes people who are sick and wounded, it includes children, women and others who are vulnerable and really need help,” explained UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) spokeswoman Melissa Fleming. “We’re concerned that women have had to give birth at the berm in very unsanitary and unhygienic conditions.”


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