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Aisha and her daughter Fatima in Amman (Kristóf Hölvényi/Jesuit Refugee Service)

Al-Hussein, 24 March 2017 - ‘Aisha’ is a special name in the Arab world and has a range of meanings from ‘she who lives’ to ‘philosophical one’. When Aisha was born eighteen years ago in Homs in Syria, she was a gift to her parents. As she grew up, she had dreams and hopes for a good education, a happy family, and a comfortable and prosperous life.

One day in 2012, her dreams were shattered. War gripped parts of Syria as never before. Her home was bombed. Together with her mother and siblings, they fled to a safer location. They spent some months in the basement of a carpentry factory which was also bombarded. They were fugitives in their own land, fleeing from one place to another, insecure in the very place which was their home. Since their home was bombed, Aisha has had no news from her father. 

In desperation, the family decided to flee Syria. It was the only way to ensure their survival and a better future. After overcoming many obstacles, Aisha and her five family members finally landed in Jordan where they could rest in safety and look forward to a better future.

In Jordan, her family first reached Al-bashasha in Ramtha. They later moved to the Al-Hussein camp area, which for most of them is still home. Some of her family members live in Karak, just outside Amman. It is has not been easy anywhere. The constant rise in price for rentals of dilapidated apartments force them to move frequently from one place to another. 

Despite her many struggles, Aisha still hoped she would have a peaceful life. She was delighted when a fellow Syrian refugee, Mohamed, proposed to her and they finally married. Mohamed also suffered much from the war. He lost most of his family members in an explosion and his right hand suffered irreparable damage. As a carpenter by trade, the bomb effectively destroyed his career.

Aisha and Mohamed enjoyed their life as newlyweds. Aisha soon became pregnant and without proper prenatal care, there were many difficulties. The couple was concerned about being able to afford medical treatment. 

Aisha’s baby was born which brought great joy to the family. Unfortunately, there was considerable negligence on the part of the doctor who was responsible for the delivery and C-section, and there was not sufficient post-natal care. Aisha dealt with continuous bleeding for months after the delivery until a doctor suggested she get another operation. He said it was a small surgery but it lasted for three and a half hours and was a great expense to her family. She was in the hospital for another three weeks.

Today, Aisha is not her usual self. The family has sought medical opinions from several doctors but none can give her any proper advice, because the first doctor refuses to give them her Medical Reports, which are rightly hers. She has been told that she will never be able to have another child through a C-Section. 

She still suffers from abdominal pain and cannot breast-feed her daughter. She gives her powdered milk instead. Complaints to the original doctor has brought threats to Aisha and her family. He claims that he will call the police and have them arrested.

JRS has accompanied Aisha on this journey: visiting her home, listening, and empathizing with her. She expresses her gratitude, “Our sincere thanks to JRS for helping us and saving us from certain risks; for responding to our needs and giving us hope and motivation to continue our lives. We know that JRS will be always there with us and for us.” 

Aisha is a courageous woman who hopes that one day life will be better for her and her family. She has named her daughter Fatima which means “the shining one”. Aisha wishes for her a better life, education, and above all the opportunity to grow up in a peaceful country, free from discrimination, and religious and sectarian wars. As she looks down at her ten-month-old Fatima, she finds a ray of hope. 

                                                                                             

- Esraa and Mohamed, JRS Team (Jordan)