A time to sewMay 11, 2020
No one warned me what life would be like hereJune 11, 2020
Aida with her husband and three of their grand-children
I live in Lebanon in a small tent in the Beqaa valley, with my mother, my husband, my daughter, and my grand-children. We are from Aleppo in Syria. Life was good for us before the war, we were living peacefully and we had our own house. But when the conflict started, we came to Lebanon. A little later and after moving several times within Syria, my newly widowed daughter came to live with us with her three young children.
In Lebanon, although our situation is very difficult, at least we found safety and emotional relief. In Syria, my daughter and grand-children could not sleep because of the bombings and explosions and all the things they saw. Her two oldest children saw many traumatizing things with their own eyes. Several times they witnessed planes dropping bombs near them. It would hit homes and cattle. So they fled with nothing but the clothes they were wearing.
My daughter and I are the only providers for our family. We work in the fields, pick up grass and grapes from the vineyard, but in the winter there is no work at all. We get paid about seven dollars a day, for five hours of work.
I knew about the church through a neighbor who used to receive help. So I visited a few times. It felt a little weird entering a church for the first time, but people were very nice and welcoming. I felt a lot of love from them.
Then I met brother Mazen, who came to visit me. Since he heard my story, he has been helping me with everything he can. He calls to check on us and inquire about our needs. I thank God for him! He helps us with food boxes every month and vouchers for heating fuel in the winter, as well as blankets and mattresses.
We first heard about the spread of COVID-19 through neighbors and people around us. Then the municipality came to tell us that it was now forbidden to leave the tent or have visitors. We just stay inside the tent or around it. Only one of us goes out to buy food for our family to survive.
We are thankful that we received this hygiene kit. The items in it will help us wash and disinfect our hands well and hopefully protect us from catching the virus. The church also gave us some washable face masks which will be very helpful whenever we need to go buy food!
We are very afraid of the virus, especially for the children and for us as we are old. If we were to catch the virus, we would never be able to get proper treatment. My husband has diabetes and high blood pressure, and for two months now we have not been able to buy his medication.
The pandemic impacted us negatively because there is no work at all anymore. It made the economic crisis here even worse. We are barely able to buy bread, let alone diapers for my youngest grandchild. We have to use rags instead, like in the old days. This is the only thing we can do!
We hope the situation will get better shortly and that God will open the right doors for our family and for everyone. May he remove this plague from us and from the world.