Alaa Kabish (17) the oldest member of his family describes how they ended up in an IDP (Internally Displaced) camp inside the northern border of Syria.
“We are from Idlib but from a rural village named Al Fateera. We were seven children with our parents. My dad refused to move to another place even though more than half of the village was destroyed. He always said that if you move from your own house life will be harder than you imagine. There’s nothing like home. So he decided not to leave our house till death. We respected his thoughts. Even in such a disastrous situation, he used to work in the fields every single day, and brought us everything we needed.
One day we were sleeping and helicopters came and started shooting our village with bombs and our house was totally destroyed. It was on the 25th of January, 2016. They were shooting and bombing the entire day. My siblings and I were playing near the house while Mom, Dad and my youngest brother were in the house. We heard a big explosion. While we were trying to hide under the nearby walls, I heard people saying that they saw that our house was totally, entirely destroyed. I hurried to see if it was true. It was. When I saw it, I couldn’t believe it. Our house had turned into ashes.
I didn’t know what to do so I started yelling and shouting just to hear my parents shout back but the people near me backed me off. We tried to dig in and my other siblings came running too. We were digging the entire day to find our parents but then another plane came and started shoot anywhere they saw people alive. I hardly cared, I didn’t stop looking for my parents.
After more digging we eventually found my mom. She was holding my little brother. I didn’t know what to do, my other siblings started to yell and cry. They put my mother and my brother in sacks and took their bodies away. I was totally paralyzed, I couldn’t even move, couldn’t yell or cry. During the night they found my father underneath too.
It was night and cold and you can not imagine what I was feeling. In just a moment my entire life was ruined, I just couldn’t talk for few days. My uncle, Suleiman, took us in and we moved to another village and buried my parents and brother there. We moved to the borders of Syria because of the shootings and bombings. Now we live in a camp in a really bad situation. We are orphans and I don’t know what to do.”
For starters, The Kabish family needs blankets, mattresses, food and oil for heat. Alaa and his uncle both have experience with agriculture and taking care of sheep and cows, and if provided with the means could farm and provide income for themselves. Besides Alaa and the youngest sibling, all of the others go to school in the camp.
When Syria is safe, Alaa wants to take his siblings back to their village and rebuild their family’s home.