Syrian Teen Bombing Survivor Sees a Better Future


In February 2013, the home of 16-year-old Faraj Albazaz was hit by a bomb. The impact damaged his spinal cord and caused multiple injuries to his left arm. His mother, who had already left Syria with his sisters to seek refuge in Lebanon, thought he was dead when she heard her house had been hit. Her husband had been killed a year before. Four days after the bombing, she received a call from the hospital where her son was being treated, and hurried back to Syria to see him. Faraj’s condition was so poor, he did not recognize his mother for the first 15 days she was with him.

In Syria, even hospitals are not safe from bombing raids, so Faraj’s mother brought him to Lebanon when he was able to travel. The family of seven now lives in a tent in a makeshift camp in Bekaa Valley.

Handicap International’s teams began offering Faraj rehabilitation in June, after he had endured multiple operations to repair the damage to his body. Just a few sessions in, Faraj is already feeling better: “Before the physical therapy sessions, I couldn’t move my hand or get up. In a month, they’ll take off my external fixation. I’ve got my confidence back. Thanks to Handicap International, I know that one day I might be able to ride my bike again with my cousin Ali.”