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Home Global Activities Asia In Jordan, Tzu Chi Helps Syrian Mother to Help Others

In Jordan, Tzu Chi Helps Syrian Mother to Help Others

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"During a home visit in 2013, she was crying in front of us, holding clothes covered in blood. Smelling the blood from them, she said that her son's blood was more fragrant than perfume..." Chiou Hwa Chen, CEO of Tzu Chi Jordan Branch, recalled the first time he met Ismahan; her son was called Ali. He felt again the pain that pierced his heart during that home visit.


Civil War, Broken Heart

The Syrian civil war started on March 18, 2011, and soon destroyed almost everything. Home was no longer sweet for Syrians. At the end of 2012, Ismahan's family decided to flee to Jordan, a country south of Syria.

Ismahan suffered greatly after fleeing her homeland. She lost her son Ali and then was diagnosed with COVID-19 -- her heart was broken, and her health deteriorated. However, because of Tzu Chi volunteers’ constant care for her, she had a shoulder to lean on. Her broken heart and wandering soul were comforted.

She said thankfully: "I really need Tzu Chi. No one can give us the sense of security that Tzu Chi has given us. Tzu Chi has healed the disease, pain and mental torment brought by the war."

Her Heart Was Buried with Ali

On December 28, 2012, 50-year-old Ismahan and her family, including her husband 55-year-old Abu Ali, Mousa Al Masri, 20-year-old Mohammad (Ali's younger brother), Ali’s wife, who was six months pregnant, and her two-year-old daughter Elaf fled to Jordan. Only the eldest son, Ali, stayed behind at their home in Syria.

During fleeing to Jordan, Ismahan and her family lived in the homes of many kind-hearted people. But, after entering the Zaarari refugee camp, they were subjected to inhumane treatment; they suffered all kinds of torture and hardship. A month later, Ismahan asked someone to write a guaranty; so they moved out of the camp, and rented a house in Amman. Later, they moved to Ramtha, and gradually were able to live a stable life.

Their hometown was in turmoil. Ismahan and her husband were always concerned about Ali's safety. On July 10, 2013, her husband returned to Syria to accompany Ali. Two months later (9/28), she received the sad news of Ali's passing. "On that day, my heart was buried with Ali," she said. The old must bury the young. Ismahan's heart was completely broken; she asked her husband to bring with him the clothes Ali wearing when he passed away. When she thought of Ali, she would pick them up and smell them. "My son's blood is more fragrant than perfume," she said.

I Am a Member of Tzu Chi

At the beginning of 2013, one month after Ismahan and her family moved to Ramtha, a staff member who compiled a caring household form for Tzu Chi, Abu Dhughan, came to Ismahan's house to register and provide humanitarian assistance.

Hearing the news of Ali's passing, Chiou Hwa Chen and Tzu Chi volunteers went to care for Ismahan. For her, they were just like driftwood, while she was almost drowning in a sea of ​​suffering. She said, "No one can give us a sense of security like Tzu Chi. Tzu Chi has healed the disease, pain, and mental torture caused by the war."

At the end of 2021, Jordan's fourth wave of the COVID-19 pandemic peaked. The number of confirmed cases climbed from dozens to hundreds. Ismahan was diagnosed at the end of November; in mid-December, she asked the Tzu Chi Jordan branch for help with an oxygen concentrator. With medicine and an oxygen concentrator, fortunately she recovered on January 17, 2022. Having gone so close to death, Ismahan understands how to cherish what she has at the moment.

Now Ismahan and her family live in Ramtha. If anyone needs an oxygen concentrator, her younger son will help with registration and delivery. Ismahan also brings her five-year-old granddaughter, wearing a Tzu Chi vest, and walks among people to volunteer. "I am a member of Tzu Chi. When there is a need, I will lend a helping hand. During the most difficult times in my life, Tzu Chi gave me love without asking anything in return."

With the constant companionship of the volunteers, Ismahan feels sincerely grateful: “Thank you, my dear Tzu Chi family, for planting family love and warmth in our hearts. I wish all Tzu Chi family members good health. Because of the compassion of Master Cheng Yen, the founder of Tzu Chi, we are connected with the heart of the Master, and our heart belongs to you."

By Lamiya Lin; Hsiu Ling Wu / Tzu Chi Jordan 2022/07/10

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