Neighbors who came to help a 48-year-old refugee widow from Syria thought she was 70.
The mother of seven children, Ranim* showed the signs of affliction from the suffering she’d endured before and after arriving in Jordan. Islamic State (ISIS) invaders in Syria had seized her oldest son and, fearing they might take her other children, she and her husband fled to Jordan in 2013.
“I was so afraid that their fate would be like their big brother – of whom we know nothing, whether he is alive or dead,” Ranim said.
Some of her six children were able to help her husband in whatever odd jobs he could find on the streets, quietly aware of his growing despondency and anguish over the abducted son. Ranim’s husband soon found himself in both emotional and physical pain.
“We went to an organization that treated refugees for free,” she said. “The doctor told us that my husband had cancer. This was a shock to all of us. We couldn’t do anything, because we didn’t have money.”
Without medicine or treatment, he began to look like a corpse, she said.
“I saw him everyday suffering, and his condition continued to worsen; I couldn’t help him,” Ranim said. “After three months, my husband died in my hands.”
His death crushed her psychologically, her children were inconsolable, and the family was without an income, she said. Beyond the difficulty of trying to raise her kids alone, she feared for their safety as they searched for ways to make money on the streets.
Sometimes neighbors would come to help and give them food, she said.
“They thought I was 70 years old because of my bad condition,” Ranim said. “This was the result of lack of nutrition, for I don’t eat much and worried about how my son was. I also thought about my husband who died in my hands and how my children were on the streets.”
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SOURCE: Christian Aid Mission