The Long Walk Home
‘Okay you can take a step…’
Saber needs this kind of encouragement. After being caught up in an airstrike Saber was struck by shrapnel and is now struggling to walk normally.
As his dad Wael says, ‘Before my son got injured he was like a normal child – playing, acting as a child…but after he got injured he became very worried. He was walking every day to school - now he can’t walk normally. Yesterday he came back upset because all the children were walking normally and he was trying to walk on the crutches. He can’t even hold his school bag.’
‘My son is so afraid to step on his leg. He feels like if he steps on it he will be in pain and is afraid that he’ll never walk again.’
Saber and his family had already left their home, terrified, after an attack in their neighbourhood. When the Israelis announced a ceasefire they went home because there was no water where they were staying.
The bomb which hurt Saber fell during the ceasefire as he was on his way back to the shelter after taking a shower.
‘I was not with my boy at the time, but I felt that something had happened to my family because I could hear the bombing. I left my home and started running down the street to get there, but I kept falling down.’
When Wael got to Saber he took him to hospital but it was so overcrowded he wasn’t seen for two days.
Then Christian Aid stepped in.
‘My son is making good progress now but I feel fear because there is no peace. Maybe the war will come again?’
When our newspapers and broadcasters talk of refugees, stories like this aren’t often told in the same breath. Refugees are people seeking refuge from experiences like Saber and his family have had to endure. We have to #ChangeTheStory.