A significant number of Syrian children have lost limbs, eyes and ears as a result of bombings. But despite this, they have not lost their hope and they have not given up their dreams of a better life.
This is what Syrian children witness when they come to the Center for Manufacturing and Installation of Prosthetic Limbs in Istanbul, which heals their wounds and helps them walk toward the goals they are trying to achieve.
According to a report by the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights and the United Nations, regime bombardments and military operations have resulted in 28,226 Syrian children losing their lives, while multiple times that number have been wounded or disabled, in addition to many others who are not included in the statistics because of the circumstances of the war.
Faced with this disaster, Turkish agencies are trying to help wounded Syrians and to lighten their suffering by offering all forms of support, with the Center for Manufacturing and Installation of Prosthetic Limbs a prominent example of that.
The project resulted from cooperation and partnership between the Turkish IHH Humanitarian Relief Foundation and the Alliance of International Doctors, and aims to provide prosthetic limbs to wounded Syrians.
Program coordinator Dr. Yashar Tatar, said that they have installed 750 prosthetic limbs for about 500 people. He said that, “the number of people who have lost their legs during the Syrian war exceeds the number seen from the Second World War, because of the persistent targeting of populated areas.”
The Turkish doctor said that 200,000 Syrians have lost limbs during the war.
Ali W., a resident of Aleppo province, said that he lost his foot after a bomb wounded him while he was out buying some supplies. Ali, who is 10 years old, expressed his happiness at coming to Turkey and receiving treatment there, as well as continuing his education along with other Syrians and with Turks.
Ayyat, Ali’s mother, said that her son was wounded in an airstrike that hit their area in 2015, which caused him to lose his foot.
Taha S., who is also 10, says that he lost his arm when a rocket hit their neighborhood in Deir ez-Zor in eastern Syria. He adds that thanks to the prosthetic limb at the Turkish center, he is able to walk and play football again.
Among those who also lost their limbs in the conflict was Othman B., who is nine years old. He said that he hoped to return to Syria where his friends and relatives were, after he regained his ability to walk again, after he had prosthetic arms installed to replace those he lost when fleeing bombardment in Aleppo in 2017.
This article was translated and edited by The Syrian Observer. Responsibility for the information and views set out in this article lies entirely with the author.