“Every time we heard an airplane, everyone started to cry and scream.”

Since her husband disappeared, Um Hussein, 46, has been taking care of her children alone. She and her seven children have been living in Zaatari camp for almost six months. 

The children unpack the Islamic Relief food parcel.

The children unpack the Islamic Relief food parcel.

“We were in our village,” she told us, “happy and peaceful at my uncle’s house. All of a sudden, a bomb hit the house. Thank God, we were able to escape safely. The next day, the house was hit again – but fortunately, we were not there.

“We slept to shelling and woke up to shelling. Every time we heard the sound of an airplane, or at the mere sight of one, everyone started to cry and scream. From children to grownups, everyone was terrified.

“Then they started to bombard us with barrel bombs, and we ran for our lives and hid ourselves between trees. I didn’t know how to carry my children, as two of them are disabled. It was very difficult for me to bring them to safety.”

Eventually arriving at Zaatari camp, the family had nothing but the clothes they stood in.

“We ran away without taking anything with us. All we had were the clothes we were wearing. For 15 days we were without a proper tent. Only a makeshift tent, made from a piece of plastic, protected us from the cold and rain. After that, we were given the tent, thanks be to God.

Islamic Relief provided the family with basic essentials including a food parcel, blankets and mattresses – but, without an income, they need much more.

“May God reward you greatly,” said Um Hussein. “These things will definitely help us, and we pray that you continue helping us because the support we are getting is very limited. We have nothing and no one from the family can work to provide for us.

Um Hussein’s biggest wish is to take her seven children home.

Um Hussein’s biggest wish is to take her seven children home.

“It is a very hard way of living. We have to buy milk, bread, diapers, and medicine. I have a four-year old who is disabled and was receiving medication. Now, we don’t even have a hospital to treat him. His condition is deteriorating every day and we don’t have any money for treatment.

“Everything is different here. Everyday necessities like water and bread are not available all the time. We don’t have electricity, nor do we have toilets or sanitation. No water heater and no washing machine. Fear and diseases are spreading. We literally have nothing.”

Like millions of others seeking safety in Syria’s many camps, Um Hussein’s biggest wish is to take her children home again, and resume a normal life.

“We hope this crisis ends soon so we can go back to our home. We hope the world feels for us, and that my children can one day live normally – just like any child.”

Since 2012, Islamic Relief has been working deep inside Syria to help vulnerable people like Um Hussein and her children. Last year, we helped more than 1.4 million people in need of humanitarian aid inside the country – and many more who have fled Syria altogether.

We want to continue to provide a lifeline for those that have lost everything in this brutal war. But, we cannot do so without your help. Please support our work to assist the families of Syria: donate today.

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