Meet Noor: Desperate for a brighter future after fleeing from Syria 5 years ago
Noor, a university educated Palestinian Syrian, fled Damascus with mother Amal and brother Ahmed, first to Lebanon and then to Turkey. They attempted the dangerous crossing to Europe from Turkey – because Noor, wheelchair bound, desperately wanted to get help for her medical condition which could not be treated in Syria.
Before the war, Noor was studying Law at Damascus University. She was in her final year with 4 subjects remaining and planning to specialise in criminal law. The world was ahead of her. Noor had plans to be a judge or work in the UN. She was engaged to be married. Life was good. That was until missiles were fired into her university – and changed everything.
Noor was at university when the missiles hit and she saw her friends fly through the air and killed. The shock caused a nervous system break down. The doctors said Noor’s condition was complicated and very rare. An infection started to destroy her nerve structures. Noor had no access to medical help and her body weakened. She became wheelchair bound as her feet contracted, followed by her hands.
Desperate to change her life, Noor came to Turkey to make the dangerous crossing to Greece by boat. 3 failed attempts were made. In one attempt the driver of the boat hit rocks and the boat sank. Noor lost her passport, her medical reports, all her clothes and belongings. Helpless and with only a flimsy life jacket, she feared for her life.
In Turkey, Noor has next to no support for her disability. She lives with her mother and brother who both suffer with trauma. Noor’s elderly mother suffers from high blood pressure amongst other problems. The stress of escaping from Syria and leaving behind her sick husband and two other sons has taken a physical toll. It’s a constant daily struggle with no other relatives in Turkey to help.
Noor’s nerve disease is rare and doctors in Turkey have said nothing can be done for her in the country.
Noor is desperate to walk again, finish her studies and be reunited with her family. Her dream is to do that in Canada.
Canada has a private sponsorship program run by the government. A few of us got together and decided to do something. An amazing group from Saint John, New Brunswick have taken action to sponsor Noor and her family to live in Canada. The application is in process and we hope it will be early 2018 that Noor’s family can start their new life in Canada!