Um Nabeel and her family in south Syria

Syria: “I hope my baby won’t have to live through this”

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From the start of the Syrian crisis, Um Nabeel, 29, dedicated her life to helping the victims of the conflict, but four years ago, everything changed in an instant.

“It was in December 2012,” Um Nabeel, a mother of four explains. “I went out to help people injured in a bomb attack close to my home and while I was removing people from the rubble, someone shot me in the head. I was taken to hospital but my injuries were so serious they transferred me to another facility in Jordan.”

Although Um Nabeel’s almost fatal accident was years ago, she still suffers from her injuries and needs regular physical therapy sessions. She continues, “I was unconscious for a month, and when I woke up, I was totally paralyzed and partially deaf. I started attending physical therapy sessions in the hospital where I stayed for months. Then I continued with the sessions once I got back to Syria.”

With support from its local partner, Handicap International provided Um Nabeel with a toilet chair, crutches, and orthoses to make life easier for her and her family. After several at-home physical therapy sessions, Um Nabeel decided to do her next sessions at the rehabilitation center. Thanks to her new orthoses and daily exercises, she is now mobile and more independent.

Despite constant migraines and her hearing problems, Um Nabeel is determined to fully recover. Her hope is to one day move around as easily as she did before the accident so she can help others. Despite the many obstacles Um Nabeel has faced including the recent displacement of her family after their home was hit by a bomb, Um Nabeel is still unfailingly optismitic.

Pregnant with her fifth child, Um Nabeel states, “I hope my baby won’t have to live through this war. I just want our living conditions to improve and for the war in Syria to end. I want a wonderful future for my family.”

Nizar, Um Nabeel’s husband, seems to share his wife’s opinion. Since the accident, he has devoted all of his time to taking care of her and their children. Although they still go to school, their education is often interrupted by bombings. Hiding their fears from their children, Um Nabeel and her husband dream of an end to this seemingly interminable war. As determined as ever, if there is one lesson Um Nabeel wants her children to learn no matter how hard life gets and regardless of the difficulties they may encounter along the way: never give up hope and always look to the future.