Here are some selected photos from the March 26 Palmyra Relief fundraising event, held at Alwaha Restaurant. More than 70 Palmyra Relief supporters joined us to help the children of Syria who have lost limbs.
Our aim was to raise funds for Mahmud, who lost his arm in his home town of Aleppo, in one of the many bombings that are now a tragic part of Syria’s ongoing conflict.
Mahmud came to our attention via a health centre called Will Steps (run by Dr Hamza Diab). Our founder Mohammad Antabli visited the centre during his trip to Gaziantep in November 2016.
The centre works exclusively with Ottobock, the German company that specialises in prosthetics and who has trained all the staff at Will Steps. Mohammad was impressed with the level of professionalism and skill he saw.
Palmyra is now in a position to start working with Will Steps to provide a prosthetic arm for Mahmud. Please follow our website for updates.
The day was made truly memorable by all our guests who came from far and wide.
Particular thanks must go to musicians Roskar Nasan (oud) and Louai Alhenawi (ney flute and drum) who played wonderfully.
Huge thanks to Alwaha Restaurant Chefs (Ayman En Nafakh and Ali Younes) and all other staff who provided delicious food and worked really hard to make the event so successful.
We were also honoured to welcome one of Palmyra Relief’s patrons, actor Colin Firth. Colin has been a committed Palmyra Relief supporter since its creation. We are deeply grateful for his continued support.
Abdul Karim, 10, is from Aleppo, Syria, and lost his leg in the Syrian conflict. He and his family are now refugees in Istanbul, where he couldn’t work with a broken and nearly unusable used prosthetic leg donated to him. Palmyra Relief helped Abdul get his leg repaired and in workable, walking condition, and will help him get new prosthetic leg in the next two years. Watch Abdul Karim’s story, in this short video:
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 women’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.
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.
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.
In 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.
Palmyra 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.