Conflict

Between bombs and displacement: Living with disabilities in Idlib

Syria

Children and adults alike have been victims of the war in Syria. Some have been permanently disabled and are still coming to terms with their condition. Two such victims tell their stories from their new homes in Idlib.

Hassan, a boy from the Syrian city of Homs, lost the use of his legs after he was shot by a sniper whilst he was returning home from school. Shortly after the attack, Hassan and his family fled their home in Homs. After a short period of living in the countryside, they arrived in Idlib which has been their home ever since.

“In Idlib, we have been living in two rooms in a school for three years,” said Hassan. “People help me to go down or come up [the stairs].”

When asked by reporters if he felt happy during Eid al-Fitr, Hassan responds “no, because I am disabled”.

“I neither come nor go,” said Hassan. “When I used to walk I used to go outside but since I was shot, I no longer go outside.”

A lady living in an internally displaced people (IDP) camp in Idlib Province, northern Syria, was injured by an airstrike ten months ago and has been confined to a wheelchair ever since.

“Now I live in Idlib and I am not satisfied or comfortable,” the lady said. “I’m so tired because I do not live a good life here [in Idlib].”

Despite the hardship she has endured since her injury, she is still able to enjoy this year’s Eid al-Fitr. “I feel good, thank God.”

A number of organisations and initiatives have been set up across Syria to support people that have been injured and left disabled throughout the course of Syria’s seven year conflict.

In Daraa, southern Syria, al-Amal (Hope) Organisation is one such organisation that is providing disabled people with rehabilitation through physiotherapy and medical assistance.

In Homs, the home city of Hassan, a resident of the city called Hussam has established his own workshop for building and supplying prosthetic limbs. The loss of limbs is a particularly prevalent problem, with many people losing their limbs to IEDs or airstrikes.