Hyam, 37 or 38 years old

A picture of my father is the one thing I have kept hidden in between my clothes for the past 17 years. It is all I have left from Syria.

I am mother to 4 daughters. Originally, I am from Hamah but my husband is from Homs, and that is where we live… I mean lived. The shelling increased in Homs so we had to migrate to the surrounding villages. We stayed there until we did not have food nor water anymore, and the shelling became even worse. We were able to stay for only 8 months before we moved again. We heard that Lebanon was safe. I lost my husband while we were running away. I could not find him anymore. We got separated when there was heavy shelling on the village and we each ended up in a different place. Later someone told me that he might be in another village, maybe he was arrested. I am not sure if this is true.

I took my ID and contacted a relative of my husband who helped me obtain civil registration records for my 4 children. Later on, he also helped us get across the official border to Lebanon. We immediately went to al-Faour in the Bekaa Valley, where our relative advised me to meet an acquaintance of his. We stayed with this person for 2 nights before his son built this “wood based tent” for us. It became a shelter for my girls and me.

My mother and the 13 of my siblings are in Turkey; I hope I will see them soon. They say life in Turkey is easier! I wish it could all be over soon and we could go back to Syria. We do not have anyone left, no relatives, no brothers, no sisters, no one…