Knowing that my work will help someoneJanuary 14, 2022
Final stretch before spring renewalMarch 24, 2022
Najwa and her son Samir at the Little friendly space he is enrolled in
My name is Najwa, I have 7 children. I am from Aleppo. We fled the suffering and the war and came to Lebanon since it’s a safe country for us and our children. My eldest was 4, the second 3, and the youngest was 1 and a half years old. I got three other children here. Now I have 3 boys and 4 girls.
We fled the war and came to Lebanon, since it’s a safe country for us and our children. One day before fleeing, we were completely out of food. The kids started nagging; they were very hungry. I had a small amount of flour, and I started making dough to make some bread. The plane saw us lighting a fire at sunset, and it started hovering above our house. They struck us 12 times, and bullet fragments filled the house. The kids and I started hiding behind the closet and under the table and the beds; the whole house was destroyed. We lost everything.
The next day, our neighbors were also hit by a plane. The situation was just disastrous. My children have been deprived of school, education, everything. They have been heavily traumatized by the things that they went through, especially from seeing dead bodies in the street. It was God in His will who saved us from all this. We didn’t know where the raids were coming from, it was all around us, and we didn’t know where to go and where to hide.
It took us two days to arrive in Lebanon because of the many checkpoints and stops. We changed houses four times since we came. I am planning on moving again. We only have one room for all of us and a kitchen. With all the kids, you know, it’s not comfortable. When I tell the kids I want to go back to Syria, they refuse. My daughter who is now 14 years old starts crying and says “I’d rather die than go there again!” She is so scared to this day.
A lot has changed these two years. They used to get hungry all the time. My youngest, Samir, is one and a half years old. Instead of giving him milk and proper food, I feed him tomato marmalade with bread. This is what I can afford. They are always cold, and they need clothes. I can’t provide all that they need. The older four children are very smart, but they stopped school. I can’t afford that, how can I? The transportation fees are way higher than before, that’s why. So, there is no way to enroll them all five in school. Their father’s job was better before, now he has chronic leg pain because of all of the construction work he did. He can’t work for long hours anymore. I work irregularly as well. Now we are jobless. What I currently need the most is to feed my children. They need to eat and grow healthily. I wish they could go to school and have a good life. I wish they wouldn’t suffer as much.
Samir comes to the Little Friendly Space, drinks milk, and eats good food. The ladies there feed the kids, take care of them, keep them warm, and this makes me happy. He’s been coming here for almost two years, and it made a huge difference in his character. He tells everyone “I was at school today!” with a big smile on his face. “I studied and played and ate.”
I also got to know the church; everyone is so very kind. I feel very safe with these people. May God bless them. My hope is in God alone. I wish He would change things for us. What more can I say? It would take a lifetime to tell my story, but I’m just hoping and believing.
Thank you for everything. Thank you for listening to me; this is what counts. Thank you for helping us and showing us compassion and empathy. And whatever comes from God is good. If God sends us help, we thank Him, and if not, we thank Him still. He is in control, and we cannot do more than what we are already doing.
Pray for us to stay healthy and strong. I pray that God would ease our suffering, whether here in Lebanon or in Syria. Other people are hungry and in need, not only us. This prayer is for me and other families as well. May He have mercy on all His children.