A Syrian woman, age 37, hasn’t heard from her husband this year, yet she remains optimistic. As she was explaining the ordeal she went through last week in Damascus, she came to an abrupt halt in speech and listens to the plane we hear overhead. I waited for her to continue but instead she buried her head in her hands and began to wipe away newly formed tears. Moments later she explains how each plane that flies overhead reminds her of the routine bombings in her village and the fear she cannot let go of.
This woman lost her mom, dad, and all but one of her sisters in a series of three bombs that hit her house. She grabbed her three children and the four of them are the sole survivors from their family’s house. There were no men living in her house. “What is the sin of my elderly parents and caring sisters?” I did not have the answer, nor does anyone. As I type this, I feel the burden of her tragedy. We must not let countless families like hers continue to be ripped apart.
For the sake of being scared to give out her name and fearful that more harm could be done to her family, she asked that we not take pictures, videos, or take down her name. Unfortunately this woman’s story is all too common in Zaatari. I hope she can find peace in her grief and hearing her story makes me feel guilty that nothing has changed inside Syria since I listened to the accounts of tortures while I was in Zaatari last year.
Despite the grimness of her situation she clings on to hope the war will end and spare her dear friends that remain in Syria.