The endless sorrow of a conflict-weary Syrian in Turkey
Meryem Abdullah, 28, fled a war that claimed the lives of her husband and her newborn child to take refuge in Turkey six months ago
"I have neither my home, my husband and nor my child. I lost everything.”
Meryem Abdullah, 28, a Syrian housewife, fled the war in the eastern Syrian city of Deir ez-Zor to take refuge in Turkey six months ago.
The devastating civil war in Syria, which began in March 2011, has claimed more than 211,000 lives so far and destroyed thousands of homes. Even during the holy month of Ramadan, bombs continue to drop from the sky on civilians.
And, every new conflict and increasing death toll are hurting war-ravaged people one more time and prevent them to get over their trauma even if they are far away from the bad events.
Meryem, who is living in a tent city in the southeastern city of Sanliurfa with her mother and her sister’s family, is among those whose trauma of the war has pursued them, even within the confines of their safe haven in Turkey.
Just seven months ago, after two miscarriages possibly due to stress-related of the war atmosphere, she had a 10-month-old daughter. She had finally obtained what she and her husband had longed for after four years of marriage.
However, their happiness did not last. Because of a "simple" case of high fever, she lost her daughter who could not be treated due to lack of medical supplies and difficult access to hospitals brought on by the war.
According to the latest figures of the United Nations Children’s Fund or UNICEF, more than 11,000 children have died during the first four years of the conflict.
Only seven days after Meryem lost her daughter, a bomb fell near her home during a condolence gathering.
Among the victims - who had come to offer condolences - was her husband who died after being seriously wounded.
"I was already harshly affected by death of my baby, this event hit me one more time,” she says by bursting into tears.
Following intense sorrow and stress, she has become diabetic. In the end, Meryem lost her eyesight.
"I don’t see right now," she explains. "I am trying to survive with the help of my mother and my sister living together with me in this tent.”
On Saturday, 14 more people were killed and 20 others wounded in a barrel bomb attack allegedly carried out by Bashar al-Assad regime’s forces in Aleppo’s Kallasa and Qasila neighborhoods.
Scores of homes were destroyed during the bombing of the Kasel neighborhood, where bodies of civilians, including a little girl, were discovered under the debris.
"Attacks in my country make me live the same thing over and over,” says Meryem.
For the time being, she refuses to see a doctor either for her eyes or for her psychological state.
"I need some time, I don't feel ready to see a doctor," she says. "I think I will never forget the death of my baby and husband. These memories will come with me wherever I go."
However, she is not completely pessimistic.
"My biggest consolation is my belief in God. I am spending my time with zikr [remembrance of God in Arabic]," she adds.
The young woman remains grateful to the Turkish government for the safe haven provided for her.
Turkey shares a 900-kilometer border with Syria and has sheltered more than 1.7 million Syrians, according to the UN, with more arriving because of ongoing bloodshed in the war-torn country.
According to government figures, the country has spent more than $6 billion so far for refugees while the international community's help has amounted to $300 million.
Last Modified: 2015-06-22 10:57:06
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