Asma al-Assad, the wife of the Syrian President, recently made a video call to Sham Sheikh Mohammed, who is currently undergoing treatment in a hospital in the United Arab Emirates. Sham Sheikh Mohammed’s story gained widespread sympathy after she was trapped under rubble for approximately 40 hours in the countryside of Idleb due to the devastating earthquake on February 6.
The Facebook page for the Presidency of the Republic shared a video clip that details Asma al-Assad’s recent contact with Sham, a nine-year-old child currently receiving treatment at Burjeel hospital in Abu Dhabi. Asma also reached out to Ali Taffouh, another nine-year-old child who tragically lost his mother in the earthquake, as well as Ali Youssef’s father, whose 12-year-old son is also being treated at Sheikh Khalifa hospital in Abu Dhabi.
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Over two weeks ago, the three children, along with others from Aleppo, Idleb, and Latakia, were transported to Abu Dhabi for medical treatment. They suffered from “crush syndrome” due to severe injuries to their limbs after being trapped under rubble from the recent earthquake.
Asma al-Assad was the first to reach out to the injured children, particularly Sham, whose legs had to be amputated due to her injuries sustained from being trapped under rubble for an extended period of time before being rescued by the Syrian White Helmets team. Reports from UAE media indicate that the amputation was performed following a medical examination.
Following Sham’s rescue and the subsequent spread of her story, media outlets loyal to the Syrian regime claimed that regime-affiliated teams carried out the rescue operation and that the government intervened to transport the child from Idleb and bring her to Turkey for treatment. Asma al-Assad’s call attempted to solidify these claims made by regime media, suggesting that she was aware of the processes involved in transporting the child and bringing her to the UAE. During the call, Asma sent a message to Sham saying, “You want to come back to me,” indicating her familiarity with the situation. When Sham mentioned that she would need to install artificial legs to return to Syria, Assad responded by saying, “You are strong, and your return will be the greatest gift to us.”
This article was translated and edited by The Syrian Observer. The Syrian Observer has not verified the content of this story. Responsibility for the information and views set out in this article lies entirely with the author.