Syria’s civil battle: Voices from Al-Amal neatly being heart


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Al-Amal neatly being heart lies roughly 50 feet from the Syrian border in Reyhanli, Turkey. It is one of the best neatly being heart speed by Syrian NGOs with approval from the Turkish authorities to treat victims of the Syrian war, in accordance with the Syrian American Clinical Society, an NGO that supports the neatly being heart.

On each day basis, sufferers and their families hideous the border, in quest of treatment from the volunteer workers at Al-Amal, many of whom are refugees themselves.

The Syrian civil battle, which began with a crackdown of pro-democracy demonstrators by President Bashar al-Assad’s government forces in 2011, has resulted within the deaths of greater than 465,000 Syrians.

Extra than 1,000,000 of us had been injured and at the least 12 million had been pressured to leave their homes. 

Hospitals and other scientific companies and products non-public turn out to be targets, with Recent York-essentially based fully NGO Physicians for Human Rights (PHR) documenting 492 attacks on scientific companies and products for the explanation that open up of the war.

After they’re bombing hospitals, that methodology there must not any lines. They’re killing all and sundry. After I felt that we couldn’t provide protection to ourselves as scientific doctors, I could perchance not continue in Syria.

A S D, volunteer at Al-Amal neatly being heart

PHR and other watchdogs non-public accused the Syrian government of deliberately focusing on scientific workers and companies and products one day of the war.

On this climate, many scientific examiners non-public fled the country, offering their companies and products to areas fancy Al-Amal, which provide treatment for those with nowhere else to turn to.

Right here, sufferers and volunteers from the neatly being heart portray tales of battle, violence, and futures build on defend by a war that presentations few signs of resolution.

Dr Hisham Bismar

Hisham is a Syrian-American doctor, essentially based fully within the US. He travels to Turkey to volunteer as a surgeon in Al-Amal neatly being heart.

[Screengrab/Al Jazeera]

« I mediate it turned into once footage of a father carrying his son with his arm fully amputated. That is what surely instigated me to contact the Syrian American Clinical Society, and they build me fervent with the facility in Turkey.

Rapidly after I arrived, they gave me a sanatorium. I began having one patient after every other. Originally I turned into once overwhelmed by the selection of sufferers coming in with very complicated issues, and also by the human facet tiresome it. Loads of of these sufferers had tales tiresome their injuries, which also provides to the emotional stress … you compose not are desirous to hideous your scientific decision on emotions.

We help repeating the same mistake: Srebrenica, Rwanda, Darfur, and now Syria.

Dr Hisham Bismar, volunteer surgeon

The element which surely struck me presumably the most and affected me presumably the most turned into once seeing the kids. When it begins affecting youngsters, that’s the build I plot the street. I mediate in this battle you had a total skills which turned into once uncovered to broad trauma. It will non-public an impress on how they grow, how they mediate.

My childhood compose not slightly pick what I am doing. They query, « why is there a battle over there? » I portray them often of us strive to inflict struggling on other of us and I very most practical strive to glimpse if I’m able to create issues slightly bit better. At any time after I glimpse at my childhood, I non-public that feeling that I surely must trail support.

We help repeating the same mistake: Srebrenica, Rwanda, Darfur, and now Syria. It is very most practical the same issue retains taking place over and over and we’re not doing anything diverse.

I compose not mediate what I am doing is de facto anything particular in particular, however I mediate every tiny bit helps. I know if I turned into once in that issue I would are desirous to non-public somebody who could perchance well be ready to provide admire me. I am fortunate ample to be ready to relieve, regardless whether it be colossal or shrimp. That does not matter. What matters to me is that I am doing something. »


Mohammed* is a fighter with the Free Syrian Military. He visits Al-Amal after being injured by gunfire.

[Screengrab/Al Jazeera]

« I turned into once masking for my colleague. A bullet came and hit my hand. It took four days for me to reach Turkey, because in Syrian hospitals … they might be able to raze me if they receive me. It took jam with some guests.

We by no methodology imagined we would turn out to be fighters. We are electorate. We’re not terrorists. Each person could perchance well additionally merely peaceful realize: we’re very most practical defending ourselves.

Mohammed* – Free Syrian Military fighter

If Assad, his military or the of us precise to him know my precise title, they might be able to raze my of us straight, because I am combating him.

When our revolution began there had been no guns, no weapons. It turned into once a matter of some boards, flags pronouncing: « Assad exit » – that’s it. Then, rockets, bombs, tanks taking pictures us in each jam.

A bomb fell down from a helicopter. Assad’s military threw it down in a market. The of us had been very most practical looking out for to remove some food and trail support residence.

I’ve considered the pieces of them. Bread with blood, vegetables with blood, and system of their our bodies spread in each jam.

And each other time when the ambulance came, they sent a rocket from the MiG [a Russian-made aircraft]. The ambulance team had been all killed.

We by no methodology imagined we would turn out to be fighters. We are electorate. We’re not terrorists. We’re not terrorists. Each person could perchance well additionally merely peaceful realize: we’re very most practical defending ourselves – that’s it. »


Promise began working as an administrator at Al-Amal in 2015, after arriving in Turkey as a refugee in 2015. She remains hopeful that she’s going to be ready to advance residence at some point.

[Screengrab/Al Jazeera]

« In 2011, I turned into once finding out for the baccalaureate examination. The demonstrations began, and we joined them. We had been all communicating by a community and I disseminated the news by the community.

They knowledgeable me my title turned into once at the security checkpoints. What bothered me and apprehensive me presumably the most is once they arrested girls at roadblocks and abused them and locked them away. To die by a bullet is very most practical than being arrested by the regime.

This bracelet is a image of the revolution, that we are going to continue going forward regardless of what. It methodology freedom. »


Z* is a volunteer surgeon at Al-Amal. In his work, he treats many young youngsters suffering from the Syrian war.

[Screengrab/Al Jazeera]

« The model that we’re seeing the childhood, there are signs of hurt and trauma.

They’re clearly malnourished. They’ve misplaced that intellectual smile. It is sophisticated to gain them to make a choice with you and I’m able to portray it be roughly hard for them to believe.

There turned into once a young boy. He turned into once hit by a sniper with a bullet, it crossed his spinal wire, severing his spinal wire, and inserting this young boy in a wheelchair for the relaxation of his existence.

What surely obtained my attention turned into once that this guy, this tiny boy turned into once hit by a sniper. So there’s somebody available that has the flexibility to glimpse by a telescope, and know they’re taking pictures a 12 Twelve months primitive boy.

There are instances once they plot for pregnant females, and plot to shoot the tiny one. What had been the political affiliations of those youngsters within the womb? What roughly risk had been they to any one? »


A Y is a Turkish businessman who crosses the border as many as 10 instances each day, bringing wounded of us into Turkey for scientific relieve.

[Screengrab/Al Jazeera]

« After I turned 20, I began inquisitive about the that methodology of existence. I talked about to myself ‘I are desirous to relieve the oppressed’.

I gain up at 6am and I trail to the Atma crossing [on the Syria-Turkey border near Afrin], I remove up seven sufferers and seven of their companions. I am fancy a bridge from Syria to Turkey, a bridge with an ambulance.

I non-public by no methodology given any bribes to the Turkish border guards. As an illustration, I thunder: ‘you are a obedient particular person, glimpse at this ill, injured particular person. For the sake of humanity, let him in.

Whilst you happen to judge in God, right here is your Muslim brother, let him in. Whilst you happen to are a Christian, for the sake of Jesus please let him in. Whilst you happen to are Jewish, for the sake of Moses please let him in. Appropriate let him in.’

This work offers me joy, I non-public not chanced on anything that brings me more joy. »

Abdullah’s mother

Abdullah’s mother introduced her five-Twelve months-primitive son to Al-Amal after he turned into once hit with shrapnel. The family conception to advance to Syria following Abdullah’s operation.

[Screengrab/Al Jazeera]

« It turned into once Friday, I turned into once busy at residence with his brothers. Abdullah heard the voices of childhood on the street so he went out to play with them.

I compose not know for definite what roughly shell it turned into once however there turned into once a colossal explosion. He misplaced feature in his left hand. His left leg and trunk had been paunchy of shrapnel. My feelings had been uncontrollable.

I hope that God heals him and the total youngsters and heals Syria from this issue. »


A S D* is a recently-arrived volunteer at Al-Amal. Sooner than in quest of refuge in Turkey, he labored as a surgeon in Syria, most often below bombardment.

[Screengrab/Al Jazeera] 

« As soon as they build one automobile beside the neatly being heart and they bombed it. They knowledgeable us ‘we can bomb your neatly being heart if you’re treating the riot of us’.

After they’re bombing hospitals, that methodology there must not any lines. They’re killing all and sundry.

After I felt that we couldn’t provide protection to ourselves as scientific doctors, I could perchance not continue in Syria.

One time, a bomb fell at streetlevel and there turned into once one guy, they introduced him to me and his spleen turned into once out. Of direction, I did the splenectomy while the patient turned into once on the table and there turned into once no anesthesia: with out anesthesia, with out anything. Appropriate I tied the splenic artery and removed the spleen, even when the patient turned into once peaceful awake. Because I essential to place him.

We saw many amputated legs, amputated fingers, injuries to the abdomen, the chest, that you just must perchance perchance uncover about the chest delivery. You cannot delete these pictures. »

*Not his/her precise title. 

Editor’s display: These interviews had been edited for clarity and brevity.

[Al Jazeera]

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