Sarab’s story

28-year-old mum, Sarab, was walking to her house in Damascus, Syria when it was bombed right in front of her. This is her story of pain, fear and recovery in her own words…

Before the war, we lived a happy life in Damascus, Syria. It couldn’t have been better. The war was horrible. The bombing was aimed right at us.

A missile hit our house and it was destroyed completely. I was going to the house when it was destroyed right in front of me. I was crying. I was numb with shock. My kids were just 30-40 metres away from the house when it happened, and they saw it. My little boy had a rash from the shock.

We had no food

We stayed until early 2014. By then we had no food, no work. People were dying in front of us. We had to leave for our kids. The children were deeply affected by what they saw.

They had become aggressive and scared of anything. Even now they get very afraid when they hear planes. They suffer from nightmares. They would seem to be unconscious when they were awake. They wouldn’t respond to anything, it was like they were blank. They wouldn’t talk to me. They would wake up screaming. It broke my heart to see it.

I felt too weak to help my children through it. The biggest trauma was seeing my children traumatised and I couldn’t handle it. I was afraid they would get stuck like that.

The kids started to open up

We risked everything to bring them here to Jordan. We came in January 2014. As soon as we came, we started on the trauma healing workshop. The children started changing from the first session. They waited for the next one. They stopped thinking about war and looked forward to church.

The kids started to open up to something new. We have opened up towards Christianity. Where we lived were extremists. We didn’t want our kids to grow up like extremists, and now we know they can grow up in peace and love.

What I saw from Christians was love, and I haven’t seen that from anyone else. The children’s self-esteem is better and they are getting higher grades in school. They used to say bad things and have negative feelings.

Now they treat people with love and don’t say bad words any more. They respect the elderly. I’m very proud of them. It was worth the journey from Syria to see the transformation in my children.

My pain is overcome by joy

I wait for church by the minute. I’m very happy in church; I wake up early to go. The trauma healing and the way people have treated me has had a big impact. Their love has helped me free myself from anger. I’m still heartbroken about losing our old life, but I’m not angry.

My pain is overcome by joy when I see my kids getting over their misery and pain and being joyful again.

Sarab Al-Ahmad is 28 and is from Damascus, Syria.

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