Category Archives: Other Issues

Meet Kifa

19-year-old Kifa lost his legs in Syria when he was 12. Here he shares some of his story. Children like Kifa appreciate any support you can provide to help them overcome the many challenges they face. Please help change their lives for the better.

Unreachable: A Film About Palmyra Relief Founder Mohammed Antabli

Palmyra Relief founder Mohammed Antabli is featured in this short film, Unreachable, by talented new filmmaker Fatima Hashem Morales. Mohammed detailed his struggles in Syria, and his subsequent decades of exile, in his memoir, A Syrian in Exile. Since the war in Syria began, he has focused his commitment and activism to founding and running Palmyra Relief, with the goal of helping get artificial limbs for Syria’s children who have lost hands, arms and legs during the war.

“We manipulate it or play with it … it is memory. We create alternative spaces for it to occupy, leaving us without the pain of remembering. We create another fountain, another lemon tree and other jasmine flowers … they are all that “other” to replace the soul with what was lost, from what was left and not left, from what moved away and what remained close. Damascus, we carry you in our soul, so we can leave you only when angels come to take us on other journeys, to other worlds.”
~ Mohammed Antabli

We are so pleased to share this short film with you.

Palmyra Relief Luxemborg

Many thanks to Martine and her team with Palmyra Relief Luxembourg. They spent two days in the market’s freezing cold weather raising money for Palmyra Relief from the sale of hand made items (Martine’s creations), raising €1128.  This will help us to provide more artificial limbs for the children of Syria.
الف شكر لمارتين وفريق عملها بالميرا ريليف في لوكسمبورغ 
لقد امضوا يومين في السوق في طقس جليدي من اجل جمع المال لجمعية بالميرا ريليف من خلال بيع مشغولات يدوية من تصميم مارتين.
وقد تم جمع ١١٢٨ يورو وهذا سوف يساعدنا على تركيب أطراف صناعية للأطفال السوريين المصابين.

An Update on Mahmud Harbalyie

هذه صورة الطفل محمود حربلية، قبل وبعد تركيب الطرف الصناعي. ابتسامته هي الأمل الوحيد الذي يوحي بالمستقبل. شكرا من القلب لكل من ساهم ماديا ومعنويا برسم الفرحة مجددا على وجه محمود.

Thank you to all who supported our past fundraising events for Mahmoud. In March 2016, 70 people joined us for an event, which raised £3,500 to help get a prosthetic arm for Mahmoud. He lost his arm in Aleppo, in the bombing that is a tragic part of Syria’s ongoing conflict.

Palmyra Relief successfully coordinated with Dogan Medikal in Mersin, Turkey.  Dogan has a healthcare centre whose services focus around the provision and fitting of prosthetic limbs.

During September 2018, Palmyra Relief discussed the case of Mahmud Harbalyie with Dogan Medikal and negotiated a quote for the provision of the prosthetic arm for Mahmud (who is now 8 years old).  The fitting of the prosthesis cost 13,000 Euros (this also includes hospital stays and psychological therapy sessions).  An additional 5,000 Euros cover a follow-up period of 5 years to adjust the limb as Mahmud grows.   (You can learn more about the work and services of Dogan Medikal in their PDF brochure.)


Please help us with Mahmud’s continued support, therapy, and rehabilitation.

Here are photos of Mahmud Harbalyie before and after Palmyra Relief helped with his prosthetic arm. His smile is hope for the future. We have also included a video of Mahmoud learning to use his new arm.

Thanks from the bottom of our hearts to all who contributed directly and indirectly to his beautiful smile.

Our Deepest Thanks to Colin Firth

At the Palmyra Relief Buffet Fundraiser on Sunday March 26, we were honoured to have one of our most dedicated patrons, actor Colin Firth, join us. Colin has been a committed Palmyra Relief supporter since its creation. We are deeply grateful for his continued support, and for joining us in our efforts to help the children.

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Meet Abdul Karim Sayyd


Abdul Karim is 10 years old

Meet Abdul Karim Sayyd. Abdul is 10 years old, and he comes from Aleppo, Syria. Abdul is a refugee from the Syrian conflict, and he lives with his parents and three siblings in Istanbul, Turkey.

Palmyra Relief met Abdul Karim through our supporter, Shady Eed, who was reaching
out to the Syrian refugee community to help identify children we can help who have lost limbs as a result of the war in Syria.

Abdul Karim’s father used to run a womemapn’s handbag shop in Aleppo, but life became difficult as the conflict escalated. Abdul and his siblings stopped going to school.

While still in Aleppo, a rocket landed on the neighbour’s wall, bordering Abdul Karim’s house. Abdul Karim, his mother and siblings, all outdoor in the courtyard, were hit by shrapnel from the bomb. Abdul Karim had the most serious injury, and his right knee was shattered by shrapnel.

aleppo hospital2

The main hospital in Aleppo — Kindi Hospital –  has been totally destroyed. 

There are no good treatment facilities in Syrian war zones, and the only way to save Abdul Karim’s life was to amputate his leg.

Life in Istanbul

The family arrived in Istanbul at the end of October of 2015. Abdul Karim’s father and his oldest brother, age 12, work in a factory. The rest of the family is at home. Abdul Karim and his other two siblings can’t attend school.


Life in Istanbul is difficult for Syrian refugees like Abdul, and most children are unable to attend school. Many children end up working alongside adults in factories for meager pay.

The family is hoping to emigrate to join family who live in Austria at some point in the future. That plan, however, is still in its early stages, and they face many obstacles. Right now, their greatest concern is getting treatment and support for Abdul Karim, as medical care in Turkey is private, and impossible for them to afford.

Abdul Karim’s Treatment

Adbul Karim’s initial treatment and prosthesis were handled by a Turkish charity that is no longer in a position to assist him and his family.

rehaIn November of 2015, Palmyra Relief trustees met with Abdul Karim and his family at our partner organization, Reha Healthcare, in Istanbul. Prosthetist Dr. Zeki Çulcu confirmed that the prosthetic leg Abdul Karim had been using was broken in numerous places, including the knee and ankle mechanisms. Dr Çulcu recommended at minimum that the prosthesis needed to be repaired, with a plan to exchange it for a new one in a couple of years as Abdul Karim grows.

Reha’s quote for repairs was €1,350 Euro – around $1,500 US, £1,040 UK. This included a 30-month guarantee, and free adjustments.

Palmyra Relief trustees also met with the Turkish office of Ottobock – a German-based prosthetic manufacturer — for a second opinion. The orthopedic expert from Ottobock felt that the broken prosthetic was unsafe, and recommended a new prosthetic leg for Abdul Karim. The preliminary estimate of cost for that new leg is €7,250 Euro – around $8,091 US, £5,579 UK. This would come with a two-year guarantee, and all necessary adjustments.

Helping Abdul Karim

Palmyra Relief also consulted with several other companies regarding repair of the prosthesis to get estimates – all of which exceeded Reha’s cost.

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IMG_4837 - CopyPalmyra Relief made the decision to have Abdul Karim’s prosthetic leg repaired by Reha, with a plan to purchase a new one in two years, as he gets to a point when children typically undergo a growth spurt.

Reha made the repairs to Abdul Karim’s prosthetic leg, and Abdul Karim is now back on his feet, walking well, and able to rely on his newly repaired prosthetic leg!

Please help us help children like Abdul Karim get the prosthetic arms and legs that help them get back to as normal, healthy, and happy a life as possible.

Support Palmyra Relief today.