Having lost kin to Assad shelling, nurse backs FSA



AGENCE FRANCE PRESSE

Published — Sunday 7 April 2013

Last update 7 April 2013 4:12 am

| نسخة PDF Print News | A A

Umm Abed once worked as a nurse at a military hospital in Syria’s Lattakia province, treating wounded soldiers, but when army shelling killed her brother and mother she decided to support the fighters.
“How could I continue to treat the soldiers who killed my mother and brother,” asks the 27-year-old, her face encircled by a black veil that cascades over her black overcoat.
Umm Abed abandoned her post at the hospital in the northeastern province to staff a makeshift hospital facility in the area of Jabal Al-Akrad held by the Free Syrian Army (FSA). She is now treating wounded fighters and civilians and those who have fallen ill from poor diet or contaminated drinking water. She works in the town of Salma, once a beautiful summer resort, but now the almost daily target of government shelling.
Jabal Al-Akrad is an important strategic point. It is bordered on the south by the stronghold of the ruling clan — the Alawite mountains.
When she left the military hospital, Umm Abed left behind her friends, including an Alawite with whom she was “very close.”
“When I left my job, she asked me why I was leaving. I told her what had happened to my brother and my mother,” Umm Abed said.
“I was very surprised when she sent me a letter calling me a terrorist,” the standard regime term for fighters.
Umm Abed is one of four women who works in shifts day and night to receive and treat the sick and wounded.
Her colleague Manal has been running the pharmacy for the past 10 months.
“When I arrived, there were just three or four of us working in the hospital. I looked around and realized that I was the only girl in all of Jabal Al-Akrad,” she says.
Her family fled the area, but she says she decided to stay because of the scope of the needs of the population left behind.
“I became stronger than a million men,” she says with a smile, her eyes lined with kohl.
She trained on the job to learn how to treat shrapnel wounds and how to deliver emergency care even as shelling goes on all around.
The staff live in the hospital, or in houses nearby, and are available 24 hours a day. They speak to their families by phone at night, when the generator allows them to recharge their batteries or use the Internet.
Some of them haven’t seen their families for months, but they have created one of sorts in the hospital.
“Here, we discovered solidarity. We work hand-in-hand, men and women, to help other people,” one of the women working at the hospital says, declining to give her name.
“They can bomb as much as they want. We’re not afraid anymore,” she says, as the shock wave from a nearby airstrike shakes the building.

What's happening around Saudi Arabia

RIYADH: The Ministry of Education (MoE) has allocated over 180 clinics for schools in Riyadh and directed all its departments across the Kingdom to recruit health advisers at schools with more than 100 students.Work has already started on introducing...
RIYADH: The Moroccan experience in desert tourism is largely similar to that of Saudi Arabia, which boasts of a unique diversity in culture in its different regions, Prince Sultan bin Salman, president of the Saudi Commission for Tourism and National...
JAZAN: Deputy Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman visited the advanced field hospital of the Armed Forces in Jazan on Tuesday.He was reassured about the injured in the ongoing battle. He conveyed the greetings of Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King S...
JEDDAH: The planned “North Thunder” military exercise is a clear message to Iran and the countries in the region it supports that any hostile intentions and actions will be firmly dealt with, an expert has said.The military drill is scheduled to be h...
RIYADH: Syrian conjoined twins will be separated at the King Abdullah Specialist Children’s Hospital at the King Abdul Aziz Medical City (KAMC) in Riyadh on Sunday.According to a KAMC spokesman, the forthcoming surgery will be the fourth and final st...
JEDDAH: Education Minister Ahmed Al-Issa has issued an order to establish a department for school security. It will be be linked organizationally to the general supervisor of school safety and security at the ministry.According to the decision, schoo...
JEDDAH: From delivering mails for Saudi Aramco to captaining Saudi Arabian Airlines’ first flight to New York, Jazza Al-Shammari’s career story is unique.“I started my career as a postman with Saudi Aramco in 1959 and continued the primary studies at...
RIYADH: A team of the King Faisal Specialist Hospital & Research Center (KFSHRC) has identified a gene responsible for cardiomyopathy.Dr. Zuhair bin Nasser Al-Hasnan, KFSHRC medical genetics consultant, said the team conducted a study on a Saudi...
JEDDAH: The Pakistan Welfare Society (PWS) organized a free medical camp and discussion on health for women at the Pakistani Consulate recently.Doctors and specialists diagnosed patients and distributed free medicines to needy patients, and arranged...
JEDDAH: Yemen Vice President and Prime Minister Khaled Bahah has thanked Saudi Arabia for standing by his country during tough times.Speaking at the World Government Summit in Dubai on Tuesday, he said: “Our GCC brothers, particularly Saudi Arabia, s...
RIYADH: Saudi Arabia joined the rest of the world in intensifying public awareness on cancer with activities spread over the week supporting the global cause that aims to save millions of lives every year by raising awareness and education about the...
RIYADH: Chairman of ACWA Power International Mohammed Abu Nayyan thanked King Mohammed VI of Morocco for personally inaugurating Morocco’s first solar power plant, Noor1, built by an international consortium led by his company.“We were extremely priv...
RIYADH: The Ministry of Health is considering imposing an asset declaration as well as an absence of interest conflict testimony on its employees as a measure in fighting corruption.Health Minister Khalid Al-Falih made the announcement at a one-day f...
DAMMAM: Abdussalam Kanniyan, chairman of the International Indian School in Dammam (IISD), has been honored with the “Person of the Year 2015” award by Vatakara NRI Forum, a community group in the Eastern Province.The award was based on his outstandi...
RIYADH: Andrej Plenkovic, the leader of the European Parliament Foreign Affairs Committee delegation, on Tuesday hailed Saudi Arabia for its yeoman services in looking after the displaced Syrians in countries such as Lebanon, Jordan and Turkey.“We fu...

Stay Connected

Facebook