Hayat is the mother of three children (two pictured). Her youngest, Jena, was born with a malformed skull that limited her brain’s ability to develop as she grew older. The doctors said she required surgery before she turned one, but because of the war she was unable to access medical care. Her father escaped to Turkey and began saving money to bring Hayat and the rest of the children out as well.
By the time they were able to escape Syria, Jena was two years old and the damage was irreversible. Jena is prone to fits and lacks the awareness to control her physical movements. She has fallen out of the balcony twice, for example, though luckily no serious damage resulted.
Hayat takes care of Jena and Yousef. Their third child, Ceylan, attends school and is in second grade. Hayat’s husband works as a mechanic, and Hayat occasionally earns extra income manufacturing shoes. She receives $3 USD for every one thousand pieces she finishes, about one full-day’s work.