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.
In Istanbul, Turkey, a new psychological therapy and rehabilitation center opened in June. Turkey. Almost 1.8 displaced have sought refuge in Turkey. Syrians center will use psychotherapy, art therapy, as well as other therapies to help children and their mothers. The project is led by Muntada Aid and the Alliance of international Doctors. Children who experienced war often need psychological treatment, yet an estimated 2 million Syrian refugee children do not receive help. Regarding the motivation to open the center, the director of the Alliance of International Doctors, Mevlüt Yurtseven, stated “Syrian children underwent the most severe trauma during the war and they aimed to help them to recover.” The center hopes to reach out and help many of the Syrians who fled their country four years ago and came to Turkey.
Read more at the article here.
During the month of Ramadan, the Saudi government will provide meals to the Syrian refugees in Jordan in an effort to aid the suffering of them. 150,000 dry meals will be distributed throughout the month. In addition to that, the Saudi National Campaign is giving enough rent for 1,000 Syrian refugee families in Lebanon. Read the full story here.
On Sunday, 13 April, we held the launch event for Palmyra Relief, at AlWaha Restaurant in London. We were pleased to have as special guests Palmyra Relief Patrons Alan Rickman and Rima Horton. Here are a few photos from the event.
During the event, Brazilian-Lebanese performer Nanny Assis performed a new song he wrote for Palmyra Relief, called “Sahdonee” (Help Me).
On March 15, 2014, the world will wake up to the third anniversary of the bloody conflict in Syria. Will we let the people of Syria lose another year to bloodshed and suffering? Will you stand with Syria?
Banksy, Elbow and Idris Elba stand together with Syria in this moving video tribute, to mark the anniversary.
Read more about the video here.
#withsyria – The With Syria Campaign
The charity Save the Children has produced a compelling video public service announcement, which brief snippets of a young girl’s life, going from a happy, safe childhood, to living as a refugee amidst war. Interestingly, the child depicted – and the location – is the UK — to bring home how children living ordinary lives in Syria have been thrust into what would before have been a completely unthinkable nightmare.
Save the Children has issued a report on the status of health care in Syria, titled “A devastating toll: the impact of three years of war on the health of Syria’s children.” The report exposes a broken health system and its consequences: children not just dying from violent means but from diseases that would previously either have been treatable or prevented.