Wadha Sharaf Al Deen, of Idlib, has paid a heavy price in Syria’s conflict.
“My husband passed away 14 years ago,” Wadha told us. “I’m a widow and I raise my children on my own. We had jobs and we worked on the farm. We were happy selling farm produce.”
But when the conflict reached her village, it took almost everything from Wadha.
“Our house was bombed so we had to flee. One evening when my sons, Khalaf and Mohammad, went back to check the house, a bomb hit again and severely injured them both. Khalaf went to Turkey for treatment but Mohammad died.
“I was called to see my son. At first I thought he was injured, but when I saw him I realised he was dead. I don’t know what happened. I was so shocked that I started crying. I will never forget the day my son died.
“We have ten people in the family. My children’s father took care of us, but after he died my son looked after us. Now he is dead, we don’t have anybody except God (SWT).”
Grief and hardship
Wadha and her remaining family undertook a difficult journey in search of safety. They now live in a camp for people with nowhere else to go.
“It took us a whole month to reach the camp. When we arrived at the camp we stayed under a tree for a whole week without food, clothes or shelter. I had brought some flour with me and I borrowed a fryer so that I could start to make my own bread to feed my children. We received tents after being at the camp for ten days.
“We’ve been staying in this camp for the past two years. What can we do? We don’t have anyone to support us. Khalaf cannot help us as he is still injured. It’s only Mustafa and Ahmad who can help.
“This year, the weather was very cold and we didn’t have enough clothes to keep us warm. We made fires from twigs because there wasn’t enough fuel to use. Now there aren’t enough twigs to make a fire.
“All of us are in need. I wish we could get everything we need. We need mattresses, blankets, washing soap, kitchen utensils and food. Only those who have money can buy these, but those who don’t have to wait patiently for God’s mercy.
Bitter memories of all that has been lost
“Our lives have changed a lot since we lived in the village. We were able to buy whatever we needed, but now we need a lot of things that we cannot buy. Our house and our money are gone.
“I’ve lost my son, my husband, my money and my home. My other son is severely injured and we’ve lost everything. I can’t describe what I’m feeling right now. It’s not an easy feeling. What can we do? We have to endure it because there are others who are suffering from the same dreadful situation. Some of them have lost two or three members of their family.
“My son used to bring us chocolates and sweets and other things every Eid, but after he died, we started making bitter Arabic coffee.”
You can ease the suffering of women like Wadha during the holy month. Last year, a record 1.1 million vulnerable people benefitted from a Ramadan foodpack distributed by Islamic Relief in Syria and other countries across the globe. Reach out to your worldwide family today: donate to our Ramadan appeal.Donate