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THE UNBREAKABLE KHALID

He lost both arms and his mother in a horrific mortar blast, still, the young Syrian refugee is intent on living life to the fullest

One spring morning in April 2013, while Khalid and his family where having breakfast, a mortar exploded just meters from where they were sheltering, when they went out to see where the bomb landed, a second one fell between them.

“I was conscious,” he says. “There was blood everywhere, and everyone was screaming. I was looking at my arms and saying to myself: ‘This is impossible. I am dreaming.’ I still don’t believe what happened. Did I really lose my mother?”

Khalid started working in clothing business before the war and had great plans for the future, but his life turned into bombs and fleeing. The handsome teenager lives now in an apartment in Irbid with his father and 3 sisters and 2 brothers. He received a pair of prosthetic arms came from a Gulf-based donor, but he found the silicone-filled limbs too heavy for his weakened muscles and eventually returned them.

An assessment last year determined that the family would receive UNHCR cash assistance of 120 JOD (US $170) per month through Lifeline Campaign launched by UNHCR to support Syrian families in Jordan, this assistance relieves some of the financial strain on the family and can provide life essential needs.

Khaled is still coming to terms with the day-to-day challenges posed by his injuries. “I’ve had to adjust to a new life, and find a way of living that fits my new situation,” he says. “I never dreamed that I would lose my arms, but getting depressed won’t bring them back.”

“My family don’t treat me as a disabled person. They treat me normally,” he says. “If I see them feeling sad for me, I make jokes and laugh with them to show them I’m okay.”

Nevertheless, Khaled refuses to give up hope. “Getting new arms is now the first step of achieving my dreams, so I can restart my future and my work. I want to open a clothing shop, find a wife who will support and stand by me, and start a family.”

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