Underground for a Year

    A Widow's Account from Syria.

    Umm Samiha currently lives in Ummah Welfare Trust's displacement camp in Sarmada, Syria. She explains her story:

    Aerial bombings and mortars became a part of our life. When we would hear the roar of fighter jets from afar, I would pick up my children, run and hide in the makeshift bunker underground.

    There was a constant sound of helicopters in our village. When one would fly away, another would come. We were underground - this was our life for a full year.

    There was no electricity, and water was scarce. We managed to pass our days with the little food we had. My husband would go outside every day, searching for goods to trade. The money he made was used to buy food for the family.

    One day my husband went out on his motorbike to buy vegetables from the market. A missile landed nearby, injuring him. He suffered shrapnel wounds to the chest.

    We struggled to get him to the clinic and he died the following day. Alhamdulillah my husband became a shaheed.

    The situation in Kafr Sajnah then became very severe. After my husband was martyred, my daughter, Faryal, 3, was killed by a rocket. And not long after this, I gave birth to my son, Mustafa - but he died forty days later. Alhamdulillah.

    I could no longer cope in Kafr Sajnah and so moved with my three daughters: Samiha, 6, Rima, 5, and Yasmin, 2, to my parents' home in Jarjanaz - about 45km south of Idlib.

    Most of my family has fled to Lebanon. I could not enter there however because my daughters are not registered in the family book and I required papers for this.

    The situation in Jarjanaz was the same but it was there that I heard about a camp for the families of martyrs in Sarmada.

    We had no possessions .With just the clothes on our backs, we arrived at the Ummah camp. I wish I could buy toys for my daughters - I do not know what to say to them when they ask for things. I do not even have one lira.

    Over there (in Kafr Sajnah), we lived under the ground, as most of the buildings were destroyed. Now we happily live above the ground - I praise Allah and thank Him.

    The whole time we were under the ground my daughters' only wish was to sleep above the ground. I praise Allah that we are now above the ground. All I do is praise and thank Allah that we sleep above the ground.

    I pray that Allah changes the situation and gives us a life peace and security in return. I thank Allah and praise Him for everything. We are happy at the Ummah camp.