Portraits of the war-wounded innocent civilians in Amman, reminder of the devastating aftermath in the Middle East.
In July 2019 I travelled to Jordan to photograph the victims (civilians) whose life has been torn by the wars in Yemen, Syria or Iraq. Women, children or men were all united by trauma, concerns, endless violence and injuries in one hospital in Jordan, in AL-Mowasah reconstructive surgery hospital, run by Médecins Sans Frontières, initially set up to treat Iraqis maimed during the US occupation.
The hospital is a place that gives its patients a second chance and reconstruct what has not been done properly in their countries of origin, mostly because of the strained possibilities of the healthcare services or extreme poverty.
The hospital provides a temporary roof to anybody injured by the war and need a second recovery, without distinction of religion, gender, nationality and political affiliation.
In these portraits I wanted to show the wounds (either psychological or physical) that civilians in the war have to put up with and how almost inevitable it is for a human being to prevent himself from these scars, especially if you just want to lead a normal life.
My intention was to confront the public with these facts and depict the men, women and children as heroes who don't deserve to be hurt, neither live in this dire crisis.
Because, we as civilians never ask for the war to come to our lives, in contrary, the civilians in the war zones suffer more than we imagine. They are educated, have dreams and want to establish the future and their lives that fortunately will carry on, but will never be the same.
Ahmad Bashir (13), Sanna, Yemen. When he was 4 years old, he had an accident in the street. It was really hot that day and people were pouring water on their heads, but Ahmad poured the bottle of acid that was lying on the street on himself, thinking it was a water.
Till now he underwent 13 surgeries in Yemen, 2 surgeries in Egypt. His eye got badly damaged, and had to be removed. He is in the MSF Al-Mowasah hospital in Amman, Jordan ,waiting for his eye to be replaced by artificial one. He came to Al-Mowasah hospital already in 2017 and stayed for a year. Now he is in his second phase of operations.
Rayan Ahmad Ali (14)
In 2016, there was an the Saudi-coalition airstrike in Al-Hudaydah in Yemen, and Rayan while standing on the street, got badly injured in the hip. He fell on the ground and broke the bone inside the hip. He was taken to the hospital in Yemen where they told him that he needs a very risky surgery that might let him paralyzed. As a result of this, his mum decided to wait and undergo only the physiotherapy that did not fix his bone yet. Rayan's bone in the hip healed in very wrong way and he became to limp because of a shortage of the bone. A month ago, he was transferred to Al- Mowasah hospital in Jordan to undergo a proper surgery to fix his bone.
Mohamad Reyad (20) got injured in his right leg during the clashes between the separatists and Hadi-goverment in Aden, Yemen. While he was on the way to the market, he got shot. Immediately he was brought to the MSF hospital in Yemen where he was one year under treatment and then transferred to Al- Mowasah hospital in Jordan to continue his surgeries. When his first phase of operations is finished, he goes back to Yemen.
Amina Musa (69) got hurt by the airstrike of the international coalition in September 2016 in her hometown Mosul, in Iraq. The airstrike demolished her house and her leg got broken in several places. In the last two years, she went through four unsuccessful operations in Iraq, until she was recommended to continue the treatments in MSF reconstructive hospital in Jordan, where she is now for almost two months.
Kahlan Naji (14) from Hajjah in Yemen. He was injured when he was two years old due to gas leak in the house that caused the severe burns on more than a half part of his body. He survived, but his brother died in the same accident. He underwent 13 surgeries in Yemen. After the last one the doctors told his parents that it was the maximum that they could do for him. His parents then started to seek help outside the country. Now, he is in the Al-Mowasah reconstructive hospital in Jordan for the third time to go on with the reconstructive burn surgery to improve his scars and regain a range of the motion in his body.
Asiel Abdo (13) was wounded during the clashes in 2018 between Houthi rebels and Saudi led coalition in Ibb,Yemen. He was playing outside while the bullet hit his right arm. He lost a big part of the bone and now after being transferred to Amman, he expects to be operated in MSF Al-Mowasah reconstructive hospital, only his nutritional case doesn’t allow the operation yet.
Amar Hardan (23) got injured in his leg in the car
accident on September 2016 in Anbar, Iraq, while
running away from the airstrike that hit the building near by. The building collapsed and two of his friends died in that airstrike. After the accident, he was taken to the private hospital near the Syrian border, controlled by Isis. There they wanted to amputate his leg. He received the treatment there and after, he was transferred to Jordan Al-Mowasah MSF reconstructive hospital for further operations.
Nahla Hussein Mohamad (45)
Nahla was shopping in the market when suicide bombing took place near the market in July 2016 in Baghdad, Iraq. The force of the bombing pushed her aside. She ended on her thigh and broke the bone inside.
Since her accident,she already went through four operations. Three of the surgeries in Iraq, one in Jordan. In Iraq they put her internal platinum in her thigh that didn’t improve much her state. In Jordan, MSF Al-Mowasah reconstructive surgery hospital, they removed it again and instead tried to extend the bone. Now she is still in the first phase of the surgeries, awaiting more operations and going through physiotherapy sessions with still not a bright outcome to her condition.
Jabril Mohamad (28) is a student of business in Sanna, Yemen.
In 2017, Jabril got shot in his knee while passing by on the street during the fighting that broke out between Houthis and forces loyal to Saleh as the Saudi-led coalition in his hometown Sanna. He underwent six expensive surgeries in the private hospitals for civilians in Yemen. Because of the high expenses of the surgeries, he had to borrow money and sell his belongings. Two months ago, he came to Al-Mowasah hospital where they fixed his nerve in the knee, the most possible thing that they could do so far. Doctors told him, he might not be able to bend his knee any more. In one month he will be sent back to Yemen. On the question how does he feel going back to Yemen, he replied: I don’t really feel like going to Yemen, but i have three children that I want to see and I have now not enough money to go somewhere else. If I had, I would go.”
Asma Delyan (17) and her mother Feda (52) from Dara’a,Syria in MSF mental health clinic in Mafraq.
After some time that Asma spent in Mafraq (Jordan),where her family fled during the Syrian Civil war, she decided to seek the psychological support. Because of the symptoms related to the trauma of the war, she could not fully concentrate on her studies that are prior to her and her family more than any other things.
She says that after the psychological treatment, her marks rapidly increased, and she felt much better.
Asma was among the best students in Syria. Now, her main goal is to finish high school with the excellent marks, and after that she wishes to receive a scholarship to go abroad and become a neurosurgeon and a professor of neurosurgery.
Nader (11) from Homs, Syria
Nader is one of the two children of his family who has received the psychological support sessions of MSF mental health clinic in Mafraq, Jordan.
It has been 8 years since his family left the war in Syria and settled in the Zaatari village near Mafraq. When they moved to Jordan, Nader’s mother Tahani had noticed that Nader needed a psychological support. Nader was afraid of the people in the streets, especially when he saw them gathered in bigger groups. His mother subscribed him to the programme that helped Nader to get rid off the fears. ”Now I feel much better”, says Nader, who wants to be an engineer when he grows up.
Since the war, their life has changed a lot.
“ In Syria we had a house and now I don’t have one”, says Tahani. They were very happy in Syria before the war. Tahani wishes the political situation to settle soon, that they are able to go back because she is very homesick.
Mohamad Hizam (33) used to work as an electrician in one of the tank stations in Amran, in Yemen. One day, during the winter of 2018, the airstrike by the Arab coalition backing the Yemeni army, hit the tank station and Mohamad got badly burned by the explosion. His body is now from 65% covered of burns. He was first treated in the hospital in Yemen, where he was not given the treatment that was needed. Two months ago, he was admitted to MSF Al- Mowasah hospital in Amman to further undergo reconstructive surgeries to recover his wounds.