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“I feel blessed to walk again"

Explosive weapons Rehabilitation
Jordan

Malik was just 13 years old when his home in Syria was bombed. From having his leg amputated to attending rehabilitation sessions and focusing on his mental health, the road to recovery has been long. Humanity & Inclusion's (HI) team in Jordan have supported Malik throughout this journey.

Malik at home in Irbid, Jordan

Malik at home in Irbid, Jordan | © S. Khalifat / HI

Malik is one of many victims of bombing during the conflict in Syria. This is his story.

“My name is Malik and I am 20 years old. I came to Jordan from Syria after I was injured in an air attack when I was 13.

We were at home, celebrating a family marriage when the house was bombed. I was with my father and uncle who were also injured, but not seriously. My injuries were worse because I happened to be in the room where the bomb hit.

I remember that there was thick smoke. I couldn't see a thing. My mother managed to open the doors and windows so we could breathe. I thought I was going to die.

When I got to hospital, I don't remember much. When I woke up next morning, we were in an ambulance travelling from Syria to Jordan to be treated in another hospital.

The doctors at the hospital in Jordan amputated my leg immediately but I had no idea I’d lost my leg for the first fortnight in hospital. I was in so much shock and felt alone in hospital. It was a few months before my mother could come to visit me. It was really hard without my family.

I was depressed and, for the first three years, I was in a bad state with my mental health. I also had injuries all over my body, which needed care. I was lucky that I received the treatment I needed in order to rebuild strength and improve movement for different parts of my body.

In 2014, I received my first prosthesis. When I saw I could walk again, I felt blessed! I was going to be able to move, work and study again! I spent a year working with Humanity & Inclusion's (HI) rehabilitation team to learn to walk again.

In 2015, I went back to school. However, I did not go for a long period of time because I found it hard to accept my disability and I felt self-conscious in classes with other young people which meant I made the decision to stay at home. I was really depressed and shy. I hated it when people saw me as someone with a disability.

It took me years to build confidence but in 2017 I began to make new friends. My friends really helped me to overcome my anxiety and nervousness around my disabilities. I can move around, study and work.

I am excited that I now also work as a volunteer at HI, which has helped me with my confidence and also to improve my English! I help identify people with disabilities who may need rehabilitation or psychosocial support and give them information on other accessible local services. 

Now I’ve got quite a busy afterwork routine... I socalise with friends and family and at night I produce content for my YouTube channel!! One day, I really hope to study art and drama."

Date published: 02/03/21

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