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.
This wonderful video was created by a dear Palmyra Relief friend! Captions are in Arabic. (English translation coming soon!)
How can you not love the spirit and optimism of these children? Just check out the little girl’s smile!
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.
On behalf of Palmyra Relief, we are saddened to hear of the death today of great humanitarian and actor, Alan Rickman. We offer our deepest sympathies to his wife Rima Horton, as well as his family, friends and legions of fans.
Among his many countless humanitarian efforts, Alan was a founding patron and generous and tireless supporter of Palmyra Relief and our effort to provide prosthetic limbs for Syrian children. We were so very honored and humbled by his support for our cause, and his friendship.
Alan was a truly gracious, generous, talented, witty, charismatic and heart-felt force in this world. Rest in peace, Alan. You will be missed.
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.
For many refugee children, surviving is life, and having fun is not part of life. Zakira, a charity that means “memory” in Arabic, paired with UNICEF to give Syrian and Palestinian refugee children disposable cameras and photography lessons. This helps to give children a taste of childhood. “These young photographers do not try to show the misery of their life in the settlements nor do they make any kind of statement. They merely capture pictures of the world around them and the intimacy of their daily life with a stunning genuineness,” according to Zakira. These photos not only allow an outlet for the children, but serve as a perspective to see life in a refugee camp from the point of view from a child.
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.
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.