Noora and her family were at home in Aleppo, Syria’s largest city, when the knock at the door came. Fighters barged their way inside and killed Noora’s husband, Hamam, forcing her and her children to watch.
‘My children screamed and hid their faces with their hands,’ Noora recalls.
‘My little son Hamza is five years old and he does not speak anymore. He is shocked. Is that fair? Where is God?’ As Noora told her story, her children listened on and cried.
Living in desperation
Noora and her children are now living as refugees in Sulaimaniya in northern Iraq in a small, damp house. She is reliant on her 17-year-old son’s income as a construction worker to pay the rent, and on her neighbours’ generosity.
‘The money [has gone] by the middle of the month - if we’re lucky. For the rest of the month we have nothing to eat. If our neighbours were not good we would have died or maybe gone to the streets to beg,’ Noora told us.
‘I do not know [how long our neighbours] will continue being good. Once they stop, I do not know what I will do. I cannot leave my children hungry.’
Noora would never have considered leaving her country had her husband not been killed.
‘My little son Hamza is five years old and he does not speak anymore. He is shocked. Is that fair? Where is God?’
Women enduring conflict
Women like Noora face specific vulnerabilities during conflict and as refugees, and many are grieving the loss of their husbands and loved ones.
Our long-term partner Asuda has been working to combat violence against women in the Kurdish region of Iraq since 2000.
In the coming months they will be working with refugees from Syria to provide them with access to much-needed social, psychological, legal and medical services.
Please help us reach more vulnerable women like Noora by giving what you can to our Syria Crisis Appeal.