She’s just five years old, but war is all she has known


Huda, 5, was injured in an air strike in Syria, in June 2016.  Suffering from a traumatic brain injury and a fractured leg, the little girl is making a swift recovery thanks to the support of Handicap International.

Three generations of the same family gather in their living room to greet the Handicap International team, Salam, a physical therapist, and Abood, social worker, when they arrive. Soon a little girl, Huda, joins the rest of the family and snuggles up to her mother. Fine hairs are growing back around a huge scar on the left side of her head. She’s just five years old, but war is all she has known.

“We had two houses in Syria, side by side,” says Ghada, Huda’s mother. “One day, my daughter was walking from one house to the other when a bomb fell a hundred meters from her. Huda was rushed to the nearest clinic, but her injuries were so serious that we were told that she needed to be treated in Jordan. Her brain had come part way out of her skull and she had a large wound on her leg. She and I were transported to the other side of the border.”

Some family members had already taken refuge in Jordan several years before, and they opened their home to Huda and Ghada when they left hospital. “Our relatives told us that my niece had had an accident in Syria and that she was being treated here,” says Huda’s uncle, Mohammad. “We rushed to the hospital and it was obvious that she and her mother would come and live with us when they would be discharged.” Fourteen people now live in their house.

Huda has been followed up by Handicap International since she left hospital. “This is the second time we have visited her,” says Salam, physical therapist. “She’s making progress very quickly because her wound isn’t very deep. When I last saw her, she couldn’t move her hand or leg and she couldn’t speak either—Look at her today, she’s running everywhere!”

It’s hard to imagine, but just a few weeks ago, the doctors didn’t hold out much hope for Huda. Today, however, the little girl seems to have gotten back her happy-go-lucky attitude and love for life.

As the physical therapy session gets underway, Ghada confides in Handicap International’s team. Her husband and youngest son are still in Syria, and she would like them all to be together. She also hopes that her daughter, like her country, will “get better soon”. “Seeing my daughter recover gives me hope,” she says.

The organization’s assistance to Syrian refugees in Jordan is supported by the European Commission Humanitarian Aid and Civil Protection service (ECHO).