January 23, 2017
Ameena and Heba Sawwan: Survivors from Syria
Excerpts from their speech in Tampa, USA (crisisinsyria.weebly.com)
Ameenah Sawwan, a 23-year-old woman from Mo'addamia, Syria, told the story in halting English as the little girl's face displayed on the projector screen behind her.
The right side of the girl's face was pocked in scars from the explosions that killed her family. She smiled for the camera, though, and made peace signs with both her hands, which were also scarred. After telling the girl's story, Sawwan told the crowd that she often gets asked if she has lost hope the rebels can eventually overthrow President Bashar al-Assad.
Hiba Sawwan, 24 — Ameenah's cousin — told the crowd how she had planned to marry her cousin last year in January, but he was killed (she didn't say how) three hours before their wedding. Hiba also talked of the impact felt when Assad's forces seized her town and blocked the flow of food shipments. The people starved, and she became used to waking to the cries of hungry children wandering the streets.


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