Rasheed is a father, a grandfather and an orphan sponsor…but not just any orphans…
Rasheed’s story is a long one with a lot of suffering and sorrow…
He had two children, a boy and a girl. Rasheed worked hard to make them happy and raise them to the point where they grew up to be everything any family would want for their kids. In the second phase, like all parents wish, Rasheed wanted to see his son have his own family. He actually helped him to have his own house and helped him in the expenses up to the point where his son got married and started his own journey. After sometime, the family had a baby who added joy to the family.
Unfortunately, arguments started between the married couple shortly afterwards and lead to separation resulting in Rasheed’s son and grandson moved in with him, so that the grandparents could take care of the child while his dad was at work. This situation was hard for the baby as it is only right for the baby to live with a mother and a father like all other families. Hence, the father remarried and it became a family again and the little child now had a brother and they lived happily. Moreover, and for Rasheed’s happiness to be complete, his daughter also got married.
After all that, it was now time for Rasheed and his wife to have their rest and take care of one another and enjoy the rest of their lives. However, after the stable and luxury life they had, the conflicts took place in their beloved country and all their plans went with the wind. The journey of relocation in sake of safety and security started for him and his wife.
The first situation they went through was the fact that a bomb fell on their house and reduced it to ruble. They were without shelter, but what made it a bit more bearable was the fact that they were not alone; there were hundreds if not thousands of Syrians going through the same disaster.
He accepted his destiny and went to live with his son and there the second tragedy took place; which was the hardest. His son left for work so that he could provide support for the whole family, but he was shot dead on the spot. Moreover, his son’s in-law, refused for their daughter to remain with Rasheed and the family, as they saw that she is still young and she still has her chances. So the daughter in-law left to her father’s house leaving her kids behind for her grandparents to take care of. The grandfather is with his grandsons as he always imagined, but sadly his son is no longer with them and this caused him huge pain.
With the situation getting harder in Syria, his son’s house was no longer safe and they were forced to move again, but this time with two kids that had no mother or father. Rasheed went to his daughter’s home, who recently gave birth to a beautiful baby girl and they stayed there until one day her husband didn’t come home. They looked all over for him, but with no luck. Now Rasheed’s daughter was left with her newborn and a missing husband.
It was a heavier burden Rasheed was forced to bear and the situation was only getting worse. Out of fear for his young grandchildren, Rasheed decided to take them all to one of the neighboring countries. Rasheed cried while telling me the story and explaining his family’s situation. It hurt me a lot when he said:
“I am now without a home, spending my time asking for help in order to support my grandsons, but I am tired, and the load is too heavy. I wished I could build a tent in my house’s location and just sit there, but with all the children I can’t and my daughter is having a nervous breakdown form the grief of losing her husband. She refuses to talk to anyone anymore.”
Rasheed’s story really affected me. I saw how tired and weak he was and I wondered how I could possibly help him. Unfortunately, there was nothing I could do apart from giving him a few addresses for organizations that might be able to help him and hoping for luck to put a smile back on his face even if just for a minute.
Written by: Bary Majd