Lina, 43, from Homs, a volunteer working with people who have special needs

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Sculpture by Mustafa Ali in his gallery courtyard, old city Damascus, 2009. Photo by Susan Dirgham

Have you experienced anything since the start of the crisis you would like to recount?

The sound of gunfire and rockets prevented us from sleeping

Before the beginning of the Syrian crisis and the war, my family, which consists of four persons, lived peacefully in our lovely city Homs. But with the beginning of the war, we were affected by a kind of despair and constant fear. I became afraid about my children going to school after explosions hit schools and killed children and childhood. Blood colored the streets. The sound of gunfire and rockets prevented us from sleeping, night and day. As every day passed, life became almost impossible. We couldn’t get food for my children; my husband lost his job, and his brother was kidnapped; we paid a big ransom to get him back. Everything became expensive – that is, if there was anything to buy.

There was no water, no electricity and there was no kind of healthcare. Disease spread dramatically because of the dead bodies that filled the streets. We used to sleep and wake up under the threat of death. We tried to hold on till the last moment. But after we lost everything, we decided to move to safety in another area. We moved to Mashta Al Helo. We rented a small apartment; it was very expensive for us. My husband and I looked for any kind of job just to earn a living, but we found nothing. Then as we were displaced and we were poor, my husband registered the family with the Red Cross so we could get a monthly subsidy that consisted of different foodstuffs and some medicines. For now we are still in this little village but our future is unknown, uncertain. After everything has gone with the wind, we pray just to stay alive and ask God to protect the Syrian people. My only hope is this war ends immediately.

but our future is unknown, uncertain. After everything has gone with the wind

 

From ‘Beloved Syria – Considering Syrian Perspectives’, First Edition, Sept-Oct 2016

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