Subhan’Allah, there are seldom instances when a person can inspire you to such a degree, that they leave an imprint on your heart from one chance meeting.

Amira is from Idlib City and was born with a major disability which rendered her unable to walk. Subsequently both of her legs needed to be amputated. She’s also the only surviving child in her family. Amira’s older sibling died almost five years ago and her two younger siblings were killed in the Syrian conflict.

Amira’s strikingly resilient personality and genuine determination to be all she can be, was truly a surreal sight, as it was entirely unreflective of her turbulent upbringing. She made no excuses. Before fleeing Syria, her aunt explains that Amira was working with a NGO to help provide psychological care to fellow the Syrians, traumatized by the unrelenting war. Now, as a refugee in Turkey, and while many other Syrians are unable to find work, she searched and secured a job. Alhamdu’lillah.

In the early hours, straight after Fajr Salaah, Amira is out in her wheelchair, powering down the narrow roads of her neighborhood in order to strengthen her arms. Such a unique physical and mental strength acquired and necessary for her to continue the role as the only bread winner in her family. She has been working at a local restaurant for a little over a year now, as a cook. She brazenly smiles when asked her working hours, which are from 10:00 am to 10:00 pm, seven days a week, Subhan’Allah.

When we came to visit Amira, she had just finished work and was returning home. We arrived at her home at the same time and just observed in awe, as she made her way inside. She parked her wheelchair outside the entrance of her apartment building, got off, crawled into the door, went down the stairs to the basement level and into her apartment. With the help of no one.

Although she tried to hide it, it all takes a lot of effort from her and the summer heat makes everything especially hard. She politely wiped the sweat off her forehead with a tissue from inside her purse and sat beside us on a floor cushion.

Inside the small rented accommodation, we met the rest of her equally polite and hospitable family and spent a short time speaking to them. We were offered delicious homemade ma’amoul made by Amira herself. They explained how they lived in Syria and later fled to Turkey, starting a new life away from the horrors of war. They left each and every one of our team inspired and so uplifted. Despite all the loss and fear they experienced, they remain optimistic, full of life and feel grateful for all they’ve been blessed with. This sentiment is often expressed when speaking to Syrians. Truly they are a blessed and beautiful people.

Amira’s elderly father explains to our team how, when she was young, everyone would have to gather around to help her because she needed constant care. “Now”, he says with a broad smile, “30 years later, she is the one helping everyone, Masha’Allah”. We have blurred her photo in order to protect her privacy.

We thank Amira and her family for meeting with us and sharing their story. She has left us with such inspiration to continue striving hard despite the trials in life and to never take anything for granted. We hope she does the same for anyone who hears her story.

Help our brothers and sisters in need, keep them in your duas and remember to say Alhamdu’lillah for all the blessings you have. There’s always someone else suffering a much greater trial than you, elsewhere in the world.

Alhamdu’lillah for all that we have.

“Give the Sadaqah without delay, for it stands in the way of calamity.”

(Tirmidhi)