Ibtissam, 40 years old

I did not bring anything from al-Quassayr, anything except for the picture of my missing son. It is all I have from there…

I lost track of him 3 years ago in Syria. He was 16 at that time. Now he is 19 and we have had no information about him ever since we last saw him. My husband was also detained when they took my son. He was with his friends in a nearby field when they stopped them all at once. I heard the news and was told that they wanted his ID card in order to access his file. I gave them what they wanted but they did not give me my son in return. When my husband got out of detention he did not find his son home. He tried asking the International Red Cross and gave them all the information. Unfortunately it did not get us anywhere.

Me, Ahmad, my husband who is 47, my son and my daughter came to Lebanon in May 2013. We are from the countryside of al-Quassayr, in the province of Homs. We fled from there when the shelling intensified. We headed towards Hisyah and from there we came to Arsal by car. We ran to Lebanon through the mountains. It took us about 3 to 4 hours. We paid some money for the passage. My husband Ahmad did not come with us. He had to go through a different experience on the day me and our children came. We had taken the road through Qara while he took the one through Buraij. His trip took about 6 hours.

In the beginning we stayed in Arsal for a year and a half until we had to move into an underground shelter for 10 days because of heavy shelling. Then there was a truce and we left the shelter. As soon as we emerged from underground and saw the sun we were told that all the tents had burnt down and that we could leave now, during the truce. I feared for my other son who is 16 years old and therefore we left. After our tent in Arsal was destroyed, we spent a month at my parent’s place until we were able, with the help of a sheikh, to get another tent here in al-Faour and we have been here ever since. It has been 6 months…