Every person who is forced to flee their country to get away from war and persecution carries their own unique story. This is one of them. It’s a short excerpt from Ramia’s story that she wrote for us in her own words about her experiences in Aleppo, before she fled the town and country with her family. No child or person should ever have to experience this.
Ramia is the oldest daughter of one of the Syrian families that is in our little group ‘Share the magic.’ Our network is supporting this project with apartments in the village of Goumenissa in Northern Greece. Thank you to everyone who is helping to support a few children and families with us.
The point of no return
The story of our family is the story of many families from Aleppo, just one of the thousands of stories of war, in one way or another. We used to hear the sounds of bullets everywhere, a terrible power seemed to rupture and our nights turned to black with the songs of guns and shells. This was a terrible year in Aleppo. The city was systematically destroyed by the theft of property and the mass displacement of people from their homes. Many women were widowed and everyday more children slept on the street corners in the cold and the heat. There was still some hope that people might come back to their senses and that security might return. But the city was besieged. Many of its inhabitants fled to other areas that were safer, such as Latakia, Tartus, and Damascus. After a year of suffering and a lack of resources we decided it was time for us to go.
I went back to my University to complete my second year when a rocket hit the building. I will never forget that day. That day I saw body parts flying past the students in front of me and my friend threw herself over me to protect me. There was blood everywhere and only screaming prevailed amidst burning smoke and broken glass.
I saw so many young men and women crying, and I joined them with my own tears of pain and suffering. I fled from the building and began to run in fear of everything until someone finally stopped me. They asked me for my father’s phone number, so that he could come to take me home, and when he arrived I had no consciousness of where I was. I stayed in the house for a month afterwards, too scared to leave, but my mother always said ‘nothing shall ever happen to us except what God has written for us.’
Do not forget, we are used to shells. Things became slowly worse from there. One day when we were all out of the house a gas jar (Hell Shells) fell on the house next door to our own. Thank God my mother was with my Aunt along with my little sister and brother, and my father was working with my older brothers, and I was in the market. But our neighbours – five children under three, a number of parents, and an elderly man and women were buried under the rubble.
Nothing remained of our building either, whose stones had crushed a garden house where a women and a little girl lived. I could see children in shreds and feel the pain of not being able do anything to help. We left. This had become a normality for people in Aleppo, an everyday life scene.
Arriving in Greece…When the volunteers greeted us on the beach they felt like angels. They took our friend who was bleeding straight to the hospital, and helped the women and children on to land first, and tried to soothe our fears. I will say that in this moment I was happy. It is a nice feeling to have survived, but it is also painful as we have moved away from our country and our lives and reached a point of no return.