Just under a year ago, Tareq and his mother were in the kitchen in their home in Syria, boiling milk. Tareq loved to help his mom make food, especially as playing outside during the war had become more and more dangerous.

As he was stirring the pot he heard a loud explosion outside – the result of a nearby airstrike – and accidentally knocked the boiling milk over his arm, severely burning himself.

“We were in a war zone at the time,” his mother explains when we ask how they initially treated Tareq. “We couldn’t do anything but visit a local doctor who was on the same road as us. We kept on applying creams and ointments to the wound but it got worse day by day.”

As soon as the fighting died down, his mother knew they had to leave. “A strike hit so close to home and my child was injured. What else should I wait for?” his mother asks us as she explains the day she packed her bags and left Syria behind

The impact on Tareq

Ever since Tareq hasn’t been the same. “He has become so shy and withdrawn since the accident,” his mother explains. “He was emotionally destroyed that day. He won’t wear t-shirts anymore because he is worried about what other children will say about the burns on his arm.” The burn itself heavily restricts Tareq’s ability to move his arm.

How can INARA help?

The family live in a refugee camp in the north of Lebanon. One of their neighbors recommended that they speak to INARA, and so his mother called one of our caseworkers. We immediately brought Tareq in for a medical assessment to see if and how we could help.

Doctors at the American University of Beirut Medical Center (AUBMC) informed us that a simple scar revision surgery on the scarring on Tareq’s arm could free up his movement and ensure that he could lead a healthy future.

Tareq’s future

Before meeting INARA, Tareq’s mother was worried that what happened in Syria would ruin her son’s future forever. But after Tareq had his surgery in July, she feels more hopeful that he can overcome his injuries and achieve whatever it is that he wants in life.

“Now that his physical condition has improved, I just wish that his emotional and mental wellbeing gets better too,” she tells us, visibly emotional. “He’s such a bright child and I just want him to reach his full potential in life. This war shouldn’t define him.”

UNICEF contributed to Tareq's treatment.