When he was 18, Hashim Mohamed Barawi was hit by a mortar in Syria. Doctors had to amputate both of his legs. Now living in Jordan, Hashim shares his story:
I used to work as a barber. In September 2012, a series of attacks lasting for a couple of hours occurred in my neighborhood. It was around 5 p.m., and a random mortar hit my shop. This incident was a landmark moment in my life. I had injuries all over my body. For months, I was in shock.
Just after the blast, I was unconscious. I was transferred to the nearest hospital, along with many others who were injured by the bombing. I stayed in the hospital for around 11 days, and when I woke up, the doctors told me they had to amputate both of my legs. I was shocked, and I was really in a lot of pain. Throughout this time, my mother was my pillar of strength and a constant source of support.
After I left the hospital, I used a wheelchair at all times. We soon decided to move in with relatives in a safer part of Syria, as the situation in my neighborhood worsened. The situation throughout all of Syria had deteriorated. Getting food and basic items became more and more difficult as prices rose. Ultimately, we decided to flee the country in April 2014, to travel to Jordan. We experienced several obstacles along the way, including unmarked borders and rough roadways.
After arriving in Jordan, I read about Humanity & Inclusion’s efforts to provide people with prosthetic limbs, and I contacted them. With the help of Humanity & Inclusion’s team, I completed rehabilitation sessions and followed a program. They provided me with artificial limbs, a mobility chair, crutches, and a bed to facilitate movement throughout the process.
The artificial limbs really changed my life. It was a bit challenging at first, and I had to fight through it. I used a wheelchair for almost a year before receiving my first artificial legs; learning how to walk with them and climb stairs was particularly difficult. I faced these difficulties for almost a year and a half. I exercised hard to maintain balance by walking with two crutches at first, then only one, until I was confident enough to walk without crutches. Eventually, I was able to stand on my own for the first time in two years!
Building a new life
In 2021, I secured a job in a plastics plant with support from Humanity & Inclusion’s livelihood team. It was another turning point in my life. I felt like things were falling back into place. Now, my family is enjoying stability and bonding. We are settling into our new surroundings and have formed friendships. Today, I am thinking about traveling abroad again to start a new, brighter chapter.
I miss my previous life in Syria, my friends, my evenings out, and my favorite places, but now I store all these memories in my mind and heart. There is no hope of returning to Syria. The circumstances will not allow it, and the situation has not changed.