Oum Ramzy, 71 years old

I am Palestinian. My parents fled from the Safad district in Palestine when I was only a few months old. I used to live in Daraa with my children. My husband passed away 20 years ago. At some point we moved to Al-Yarmouk camp in Damascus. When the situation in Syria deteriorated we came to Lebanon through Masnaa. We have been here for 3 years.

When I first came to Lebanon, my daughter did not come along; she followed later and when she did, I asked her to bring me the pillow that I loved. That is all I have from Syria.

When the events started in Daraa, they arrested these kids. They were merely 12 years old; the authorities took them and did not give them back. Their families went to see the mayor to demand of him to release their children. What did the mayor reply?! He told them to bring their women so they could make them pregnant and they would give the families new children. It drove the people crazy and drove them to protest and demonstrate in the streets. This is how it all started, when they besieged Daraa…

I cried when I left Daraa. My house and my land were there, and everything we had worked hard for. Everything we had in this life was there. I wanted to die when I arrived in Chatila. The salty water and the power cuts made me choke and cry. I want to go back to Syria, my beloved country, even though I am of Palestinian origin.