A Young Syrian Refugee Rediscovers Independence


Eloquent, determined, and mature beyond his 14 years, Qusay is coping with losing both his legs in an air strike in Syria. His progress is an inspiration to everyone he meets.

“I was sitting outside my home when it happened,” explains Qusay. “The air raid started and it all happened so fast I didn’t have time to realize what was going on. I don’t remember everything clearly. When I came round, I was lying on the floor, two people spotted me, ran over and took me straight to hospital.”

Qusay’s injuries were so serious he had to be transferred to another hospital in northern Jordan, where he was operated on six times and was bedridden for six weeks.

According to Handicap International physical therapist Salam, a lot has changed since she started doing sessions with Qusay last year, and Qusay confirms it: “I can go to the market again, wash myself, and cope alone. I don’t have to depend on anyone,” he smiles. “I’ve gone from four legs to two,” he adds, looking at his crutches propped in a corner of the room. “It’s very difficult to learn to walk after a double amputation,” adds Salam.

“He doesn’t want us to feel sorry for him,” says Sana, his mother. “And he never gives up, that’s probably what makes me most proud of him.” Qusay looks at the floor and smiles, a little embarrassed by all the attention. But whether he knows it or not, his progress is an inspiration to everyone he meets.

Soon Qusay will be able to go back to school. “I’d like to be a poet,” he says. “I discovered poetry at school. My favorite poems are about wisdom and life.”