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“I feel blessed to walk again"

Explosive weapons Rehabilitation

Malik was thirteen when his home in Syria was bombed. From his leg amputation to rehabilitation, the road to recovery in Jordan with HI has been long.

Malik at home in Irbid, Jordan

Malik at home in Irbid, Jordan | © S. Khalifat / HI

Malik is one of many victims of bombing during the conflict in Syria. This is his story.

“I’m 20. I came to Jordan from Syria seven years ago. I was injured in an air attack when I was 13.

We were at home, celebrating a family marriage. When the house was bombed, I was with my father. He and my uncle were also injured, but not seriously. Mine was worse because I was in the room where the bomb hit. There was thick smoke. I couldn't see a thing. My mother opened the doors and windows so we could breathe. I really thought I was going to die.

I passed out when I got to hospital. When I woke up next morning, we were in an ambulance at the border on the way to another hospital in Jordan.

They amputated my leg straightaway, but I had no idea I’d lost it for the first fortnight. I was in shock and alone in hospital. It was really hard without my family. It was a few months before my mother could join me.

I was depressed and, for the first three years, I was in a bad state psychologically. I had injuries all over my body, which needed care, and I got the treatment I needed to move different parts of my body.

I was fitted with my first prosthesis in 2014. When I saw I could walk again, I felt blessed! I was going to be able to move, work and study again! I spent a year in rehabilitation with HI, learning to walk.

I went back to school in 2015 but stopped shortly afterwards because I found it hard to accept my disability. I mostly stayed home. I was really depressed and shy. It took me years to get over it. Around 2017, I began to make new friends. I hated it when people saw me as someone with a disability.

I've overcome my anxiety and nervousness now. I can move around, study and work.

I’m now a voluntary worker at HI, which also helps improve my English because I left school early. I help identify people with disabilities, who may need rehabilitation services or specific support, and their medical needs, and give them information on other accessible local services. 

I’ve got quite a busy afterwork routine. I see friends and at night I produce content for my YouTube channel. I make funny clips out of existing videos. I also play online with friends.

My dream is to study art and drama."

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Fatou Thiam




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