Meet Asinat

My name is Asinat and my little sister’s name is Asan. When the conflict
began, I was 2 and she was 1. I had to flee, but the conflict spread to
the place we had escaped to, and my father was killed. His corpse was
left for days before we saw it. We couldn’t afford a funeral — we couldn’t
even afford food and I remember going 4 or 5 days without eating. 40
days after my father’s burial, we were on the move again. I have found
photographs of my father’s corpse in my mother’s wardrobe. Now I am 7
and we are settled in a safer place. I don’t go hungry anymore and my
mother has everything she needs to look after us — she says it’s because of Al-Ayn.

I want to be a policewoman, so I can ensure no one gets killed unjustly.
Sometimes I feel he is still alive. One day, I dreamt about my father — I ran
to my mother in the middle of the night and told her that he wants to see us.
It makes me sad when I see other children with their fathers.


The Love of a Mother

I never imagined I could be this strong. I have two children named
Ruqayya (pictured) and Dunya, and before my husband died I looked
after them and didn’t do too much outside the house. I never really
imagined life without him and didn’t think that one day I would do all the work myself. But now he is gone, I am their father and their mother. I miss him. When he passed away, I couldn’t help but cry every day. But then I made a decision – to be strong for my children. I play with them and try my best to smile. I have a soft heart. but I need to be strong. It’s not only the children who are faced with loss when they are orphaned. It’s the wife and the mother too. I am grateful for the support of Al-Ayn not only have they given me the resources my family needs to survive, they have given me a community and friends. I look forward to going to the office every month to collect financial aid because we have workshops on important life skills and I can meet new people and make friends.


Those Who Have Not Seen The Light

I run the distribution room at Al-Ayn. I serve up to 150 widowed mothers every day. Each woman takes a ticket and waits for her turn to be called to a private booth where she collects her monthly aid and is asked about the physical and mental health of her children. On this day, the distribution room was full of mothers with young babies. These mothers had lost their husbands when they were pregnant. Many of them are still very young in their early twenties even. In Arabic, children who are orphaned as fetuses are called ‘those who have not seen the light’.

They may not have met their fathers, but we will care for them till we see them shine.