25 March 2013
Boutros is 37-years-old. He and his two children, Youssef and Rafah, fled from Syria after he ‘lost hope.’
Boutros owned a small apartment on the third floor of a building and lived there with his two chidren and his pregnant wife, Haneen. With the intense fighting, the family would run downstairs and sleep in the stairway, underground with their other neighbours.
When Haneen felt it was calmer, she went back upstairs to get some food, water and covers for the children. She never came back down. She was killed in an explosion that hit the building minutes after she went upstairs.
Boutros and his children fled to Lebanon with nothing. He was unable to even provide a proper burial for his wife.
‘I am so worried about the children. They have seen and heard horrible things. They ask about their mother and I just don’t know what to say.
'I love my children and I loved my darling wife so much. She was pregnant. I don’t know what to do now. I am here alone with my two kids. Even if I found a job, what am I to do with these two when I’m off to work?
‘I don’t know anyone here. I couldn’t bring anything with me, my house was completely destroyed with all our belongings and my wife bearing my child in it. Everything is gone. These two are all I have now. I live for them. Haneen would have known what to do. Not me. Any help is good for me.’
Boutros is being assisted by Christian Aid’s ACT Alliance sister agency, International Orthodox Christian Charities (IOCC).
He and his family have registered as refugees in Lebanon; living in the Beqaa Valley and now receive emergency relief items from IOCC through distributions that take place in their region.
They have received blankets and a heating stove to keep their shelter warm, but the future for him and his children remains uncertain.
'I feel sad and broken. I’m also very scared and worried. What’s going to happen now? Will my children ever grow up knowing their homeland? I know they are growing up without their mother and that is damaging enough. I can never replace her. Nobody can.’
Christian Aid is supporting IOCC’s humanitarian assistance work inside Syria. For more information, please visit the ACT Alliance website.
Please help us to continue to ease the suffering of those caught in the violent conflict by donating to the Syria Crisis Appeal.
Photo credit: Jennifer Romanos/ACT Alliance.