It is very painful to see the suffering of your loved ones and not be able to help, says Hayat displaced inside Syria

It is very painful to see the suffering of your loved ones and not be able to help, says Hayat displaced inside Syria

Hayat Hamadeh sits silently on the sidewalk. She has just received several boxes of humanitarian aid and waits patiently for someone to come and collect her. Hayat, in her 50s, was displaced from Homs several months ago to Abin Saman in the western Aleppo countryside. She slowly begins telling her story – a story of suffering, fear, and loss of hope of returning to her home as she realized the war has no end in sight. 

“When the demonstrations against the government had broke out in our neighborhood of Homs in 2011, many people were arrested. I was afraid for my children. The security situation continued to worsen and in late 2012 we decided to leave the city,” Hayat says of the beginning of the conflict in her hometown.

The family hoped that the situation would be better in the countryside, but soon realized this was not true. “Northern countryside of Homs – the whole area from Rastan to Talbeish was besieged by the government forces. Medicine was not available. Bread and vegetables were expensive. Often bombardment and airstrikes made things even worse,” Hayat explains. “My 18-year-old son was killed in an airstrike three years ago and both my husband and my daughter died because of poor healthcare services. It is very painful to see the suffering of your loved ones and not be able to help. I felt broken.”

I am afraid we will be forced to flee again

Hayat and her family evacuated several months ago to the western Aleppo countryside where they were lucky to find shelter in an abandoned government building. “After nearly a month, we have rented a small house in Abin Saman village that I share with my three sons and their families and my daughter – 14 people in total. My children have no stable income and the rent fee is difficult for us to manage,” she explains.

Hayat struggles with the emotional toll of being away from home. “I do not think we will ever be able to go back either to Homs or its countryside,” she says, adding that they are living in an unfamiliar and insecure place now where she constantly worries about her children. “Moreover, the war is not over and I am afraid we might have to flee again if the security situation deteriorates again.”

Hayat received food kit and a sack of flour delivered by People in Need thanks to generous support of USAID’s Office of Food for Peace. She is receiving food aid for her whole family for 3 consecutive months.

Author: Tatiana Gavyuk & Sari Hajjneid, PIN Syria Communication & Advocacy Officers