Mohamad can now close his eyes

Mohamad Arwa Damon INARA

Mohamad, just three years old, knows that he is not like other little boys. When INARA first met him, he would hide his face, covering his scars with his hands whenever a stranger approached or if someone tried to take a picture of him. The scars pulled down on his face so that he couldn’t close his eyes and could barely eat.

After months of treatment thanks to INARA, Mohamad can now close his eyes. His confidence has grown so much that he keeps asking his mother if he can go to school.

The accident that changed Mohamad's life

Two years ago, when Mohamad was only 12 months old, a bomb hit his house in the besieged city of Homs, setting it on fire. He was home with no parents in.

His father had left Syria and was working in Lebanon to support the family. His mother was outside milking the cows and heard an explosion. As she approached their home, all she could see was the fire that engulfed it. The flames so strong, no one could get inside. She thought her baby boy was dead.

But a wall collapsed on Mohamad, miraculously protecting his body. Despite this, the fire burnt and deeply scarred his face.

“The hardest part in all of this, in my life, has been seeing my son's suffering and being helpless to stop it,” Mohamad’s father, Abdul-Rahman says.

Mohamad Syrian refugee INARA Arwa Damon


Mohamad received one surgery in Syria, but the wounds soon became infected, and blood gushed out of his cheeks every night onto his pillow. The family decided to come to Lebanon to reunite with Mohamad's father. By then, Mohamad’s scars had formed and hardened so that he could not eat on his own. His mother had to feed him soup with a syringe.

In Lebanon he received a second surgery on his jaw so that he could close his mouth. But the private donor that provided him with this surgery could not help with one last operation needed on his cheeks, to help him close his eyes properly.

How INARA helped

Mohamad was operated on by Dr Ghassan Abu Sittah, INARA board member and Head of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery at the American University of Beirut Medical Center. He detached Mohamad’s lip from his chin, and broke down the scar tissue around his face so there would be more skin to enable him to close his eyes.

When we met with Mohamad’s parents, his father had noticed the impact this has had on his son. “Mohamad can now speak better, eat better. His behaviour with us has really improved. Before he would cry a lot and was really temperamental. Now he has less of a burden on him.”

UNICEF contributed to Mohamad's treatment.