Allowing Hamida to achieve her dreams

Hamida INARA polaroid Syrian Refugee

When we first met Hamida, she spoke excitedly about all the things that she wanted to do with her life. “I’m passionate about volunteering with the Danish Refugee Council,” she told us. “It really gives me purpose. But I don’t have the energy or the ability to work because my stomach aches.”

The crossfire

It was March 2013. Hamida was with Alaa, her sister, along with her brother, and her mother. The weather was warming up in the city in which they lived. As they drove to visit their grandmother for lunch, the family were caught in crossfire.

“I wasn’t afraid,” Hamida says. “I didn’t know how to react. I just remember feeling shocked, as though I couldn’t breathe properly. The only thing that was going through my head was to make sure the rest of my life were ok.”

Then everything faded to black. Hamida’s next recollection was of a man trying to prop her up.

Her hernia

Hamida had been hit by shrapnel in both her leg and stomach. She was rushed to hospital in Syria but the wounds were not properly dealt with - resulting in a hernia in her stomach. Her back was often bent in a futile attempt to try and ease the pain of her hernia.

“I was afraid because I felt like I was turning from a young girl into an old woman because of the pain,” Hamida tells us now.

Her INARA journey

We met Hamida a few months back after we treated her sister, Alaa. We initially linked Hamida with the Syrian American Medical Society (SAMS) who removed the shrapnel from her leg. That procedure took place in December 2015.

Following that we took her to the American University of Beirut Medical Center (AUBMC). They repaired her hernia, allowing her to achieve the many dreams and aspirations that lie ahead for the young girl.

Her bright future

Hamida Syrian refugee INARA Arwa Damon

Hamida is a spirited young 15 year old. She has so much confidence and energy and wants to do so much with her life.

At her final meeting with her INARA caseworkers, her sister joined her. She said: “After the operation I saw my sister getting better. Before this, I was so worried that she wouldn’t be able to lead a normal life because of her injury. And I felt sad because she is so full of energy and she loves adventures. Now she can do the things that she likes to do again.”

Hamida can concentrate again at school without the excruciating agony that her hernia inflicted on her. She tells us that her grades are good. “I feel good - both physically and psychologically,” she expands.

“My daily routine was full of pain. Now it’s over and I feel happy. But the most fun part in all of this is that I can go to the gym now.”