Wednesday, 4 January 2017
SYRIAN WOMAN RISKS LIFE TO TREAT WAR WOUNDED
'DERAA – The perils of working in a war zone have not deterred one Syrian woman from taking to the streets to treat those injured in the ongoing conflict.
Um Faris, 38, says she has been volunteering as a medic since the beginning of the Syrian revolution in 2011. The trained nurse and mother of three says she felt an obligation to use her skills to help others - despite the dangers.
"At the beginning of the revolution, I treated the demonstrators in the streets. The medical staff in the area were frightened of the regime and the constant arrests. Injured people were left in the street and no one would dare approach them or treat them. We started taking them to hidden homes and treat them there," she said. "For a long time, we worked in secret, until I was arrested once, twice, three, up to six times. After that, we stopped going to any area that had regime checkpoints, we only worked in the liberated villages. I also returned to my job in physiotherapy, along with treating the injured."
She is now an active member of the White Helmets, a civil defense group that rushes to the sites of air strikes or rocket attacks to search for, rescue and treat survivors.
The volunteer group says it has rescued more than over 78,000 people from attacks in Syria and relies on donations and aid agencies for medical supplies and equipment.
Also known as the Syria Civil Defence, the White Helmets was nominated for a Nobel Peace prize and was among the winners of the Right Livelihood Award in 2016.'