"Yasmin Farhat, a mother of three, was forced to leave Aleppo with her family after her husband was killed. She told us her difficult story."
Yasmin Farhat (Om Mohammad) is from the Alsha’ar district of Aleppo. Yasmin has three children, Gharam (14) Mohammad (13) and Hamza (8). Having fled Aleppo with her children, she is now living in northern Syria, receiving aid from GOAL.
Yasmin told her story to GOAL staff: “My children were orphaned when my husband was martyred in a rocket attack on Alsha’ar, our neighbourhood in Aleppo, three years ago. My brother was martyred in the same attack. This happened on Friday, when I was at my mother’s house in Turkey with my children and my brother’s family. My mother had travelled to Aleppo to accompany my husband and brother to Turkey, where we were all to live together in safety, far from the war. However, they were killed before this could happen.”
Yasmin’s mother, who had travelled back to Aleppo to bring her son and son-in-law to safety, explained: “When I went back to my home city of Aleppo, I could see that the volume of destruction had increased day-after-day. It was Friday when my son and son-in-law went out of the home, never to come back. As soon as they left the building a rocket fell, killing them both. I can never forget that incident, it was extremely hard. Since then, I have become the provider for six orphans, the children of my son and daughter.”
Yasmin took up the story again: “After that we could not stay in Turkey, for the fathers of our children were no longer with us to look after and provide for us, and life in Turkey was so expensive. We went back to Aleppo, where life was terrible, but it was our homeland and we were forced to live it.
“There were nothing of life’s necessities in Aleppo, especially in the last month. ““The bombings by the regime and the Russians targeted everything, even schools, hospitals and mosques, and seemed to be coming from everywhere. The situation became much worse during the 8-month siege.
“The regime and the Russian warplanes did not leave our sky for a moment. They targeted the hospitals at the beginning, until they destroyed them all. Bleeding, injured people were dying in the rubble and on the streets. Even doctors were overcome by the killings, openly crying because the streets were full of corpses. I saw a mother burying her son who was martyred while they were fleeing.
“There were nothing of life’s necessities in Aleppo, especially in the last month. No gas for cooking, and no fuel for heating. In the last period, we could not even get bread. We were living only on water.
“For 15 days we stayed in a basement, which shook over us because of the intensive bombing. Every moment we believed it would fall down and kill us all.
“In the last three days, we saw so much death. We were so afraid of the regime forces and Iranian militias that killed so many families. We forgot about pain, hunger, bombing and lack of food for we were afraid that the regime and the militias would get us.
“Finally, we could hardly get out of the basement. Warplanes were over us, so we had to hide under buildings while we were fleeing. Eventually we arrived at Salah Aldeen, where we stayed for a month waiting for the green buses. We had no food or bread, so my children and I used to sleep hungry. Finally the green buses took us away, and we made it to here [northern Syria].
“At the beginning of our displacement, we did not know where to go. We thought we would stay in the street. However, praise be to God, the local council in this town took the families to homes where they could stay. People opened their homes for us. We are living in a doctor’s house. I hope that one day we can go back to our homes in Aleppo. I want to settle with my children and see them completing their studies, and growing up before my eyes. I want my children to live. I want no more war.”
Yasmin Farhat (Om Mohammad)