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Finding meaning after unbearable loss

Tuesday, August 21, 2018

“ My eldest son wasn’t with them when they came back “

Eight years has passed, and war is still devastating Syria. Today, 13 million Syrians are either refugees abroad or IDPs (Internally Displaced People) inside the country, often being forced on multiple times. One of those people is Ahmed Bakkar Ebu Fares.

Displaced by airstrikes on his town in the countryside of Homs province for the first time in 2012, he left his job as a director of the medical centre there and fled his home to find safety elsewhere. It was not long before the battles reached the village they had moved to, so he displaced again and moved to El-Kalamoun areas, leaving his family behind to keep them safe. He had no income and the family were living off their savings, and their living conditions deteriorated drastically. His eldest son -Fares was killed in an airstrike the same week as 22 of his relatives were also killed in the conflict.

When conditions got worse in Kalamoun area he moved again to the north of Syria to Idlib province countryside. There his health conditions deteriorated terribly, and so he was evacuated to Turkey for a cardiac catheterization, but he had to leave Turkey under the terms of his residency permit before he could complete further critical surgery. On his return to Turkey the family was reunited. The emotions, as you can imagine, were overwhelming.

The loss of his eldest son had driven Ahmed into a deep depression. Losing his eldest son suddenly devastated him. Being with his family again helped lift the burden. He found meaning in helping others, by volunteering as a medical worker in a desert village in the eastern countryside of Hama province in the north of Syria. He worked hard in this centre for two years doing his best to provide medical services for sick people in these remote villages. But conflict returned again to this area. Ahmed and his colleagues evacuated the medical centre and returned to the countryside of Idlib. Once again Ahmed is trying to find stability.

He continues to provide medical services to the people in at the Kalped Medical Centre, run by Hand in Hand For Aid and Development Organization in Hope Camp near the Turkish border.