His plight has gotten worldwide attention, as video footage captured the aftermath of the bombing, as the child cries out for his father, “Daddy, pick me up!”
Tens of thousands of children just like Abdulbasit have lost arms, legs, or both as a result of the conflict in Syria. Palmyra Relief is working to help these children get prosthetic limbs as a start toward rebuilding lives that have been upended as a result of the war.
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.
Palmyra Relief’s founder and trustee, Mohammed Antabli is currently traveling in Turkey with his wife and fellow trustee, Franca Fiabane, meeting Syrian refugee families whose children have lost limbs as a result of the war in Syria. Here are just a few of the many children they have met in the last few days, children we hope we can soon help through Palmyra Relief’s support.
Young Somali Children living in a Refugee camp in Kenya write letters of hope to refugee children in Syria. “Be the stars and the new presidents,” said one young Somali boy in his letter. They offer encouragement, advice, and urge them to do everything they can to get an education and keep learning. Read the article and their letters here.
Syrian children living in the Zaatari Refugee Camp in Jordan give their perspective on the things that have happened and difficulties they’ve faced. They dream of going back to Syria and becoming anything from a doctor to a lawyer who protects human rights. Watch the full video here.
So far in 2014, more than 9,000 child refugees have arrived in Italy from Syria, by themselves. Many of the thousands of unaccompanied minors are under five years old. These children face danger, violence, or exploitation. Save the Children said that after arriving, many Syrian refugee children are “dropping off the radar,” therefore being exposed to risk. Read the full article at World Bulletin here.
Around 3 million Syrian children have been displaced by war. They’ve had to suffer through their houses being bombed, not being able to attend school because of war, being separated from or losing family members, and having to leave Syria. Children as young as 2 and up to 14 share their aspirations, desires, hopes, and stories about what they’ve experienced.
Popular Brazilian performer Nanny Assis has written and performed an original song for Palmyra Relief. The song is called “Sahdonee” (Help Me, in Arabic. ) He debuted the song at famed jazz club Ronnie Scott’s in London, on 10 April 2014.
Sahdonee was written as a tribute to the children of Syria who have been wounded in the war, and the song has been dedicated to Palmyra Relief and its efforts to help provide prosthetic limbs and rehabilitation to Syrian children.
Here is a video of Nanny Assis performing Sahdonee, along with the song’s lyrics.
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).