The war in Syria continues to claim hundreds of casualties daily for the second year in a row, and for those it does not kill, it affects them for life. Children and women especially, bear the brunt of the war as thousands of them are left orphans and widows.
According to The Syrian Human Rights Watch Network, an estimate of 40,000 Syrian children are fatherless and 4,237 are motherless as a result of daily airstrikes and gun battles across the country.
“I haven’t seen my mom and dad for too long,” said eight-year-old Yasmin from Hama who fled the country with her brothers to Lebanon. “I am still waiting for them to bring me and my brothers bread.”
Yasmin lives with her five older brothers on the Lebanese-Syrian borders where all siblings circulate outside the Lebanese border office to beg individuals coming or departing the area for money.
“My brothers and I haven’t seen our parents for more than five months and we couldn’t find their bodies after we asked our neighbors to help us look for them,” said 25-year-old Shareef, Yasmin’s eldest sibling.
More than 17,000 wives are widowed over the almost two-year Syrian war. Another 15,000 live with an ambiguous answer to where their spouses may be.
“I’ve had to adopt the father role and put aside the emotional mother to ensure life for my children,” said Alia, a mother of two teenagers.
Alia fled the battle in Aleppo in November and migrated to the capital Damascus, where she thought it was a safer place to raise her two girls after their dad was sniped on his way to work a year ago.
“I work as a cook, maid, and sometimes a babysitter to people around the city to bring food to my girls.”
The 38-year-old mother said she has no alternative option but to overcome the emotional turmoil and grievances of losing her childhood love, and later on husband.
“I am one amongst thousands of widowed Syrian women.”
Statistics show more than 60,000 Syrians remain missing since the political uproar ignited in the country in 2011.