Meet beautiful Noor.
She’s just turned 27, one year older than me, and she can’t walk anymore…
Four years ago, Noor was in her final year of a Law degree at Damascus university, planning to specialise in criminal law with a dream of being a judge or working for the UN… yes beautiful AND clever. She had just turned 23 and had her whole life ahead of her…
Then one day missiles were fired into her university, and her whole world changed…
The unimaginable shock and trauma of the missile attack caused Noor’s nervous system to break down and the few doctors left in Syria found her condition complicated and hard to understand. With no real access to medical help, Noor’s body quickly weakened, her feet contracted and she became wheelchair bound.
Noor’s life became increasingly difficult as her condition worsened alongside the war. Devastatingly, Noor’s father, stressed and heartbroken from witnessing Noor’s breakdown, as well as losing their family home and his job, had a heart attack as a result, leaving him also in very poor health.
The family were forced to make a very difficult decision. In order to survive, they had to leave Syria, and decided to flee to neighbouring Lebanon, yet too unwell to make the journey, they had no choice but to leave Noor’s father behind, in order for any of them to stand a chance.
After 3 and a half difficult years in Lebanon, it became increasingly clear that Noor desperately needed proper medical help – an operation so that she could walk again. The family decided to continue to Turkey, in the hope of making the dangerous boat crossing to Europe for treatment, and also to fulfil Noor’s dream of completing her Law degree.
This is where they met our lovely tribe member Kelli, living in difficult conditions alongside many other Syrian refugees in Izmir, Turkey, everything around them, including the clothes on their backs, kindly donated or lent to them.
Kelli visits Noor almost every day and they have become very close. Noor has slowly opened up to Kelli, sharing her story. Noor’s mother and brother are unable to legally work in Izmir and they struggle to pay their £150 a month rent or put food on the table. Noor’s brother is also suffering from symptoms of shock after the explosions in Damascus. He proudly shows Kelli beautiful photos of Noor on his phone. The images are memories from times when she could still run and dance and move freely. Now it seems she will need both feet operating on to stop the constant pain in both her feet and hands (which her condition has recently spread to), and regain some mobility.
The family’ rent was due today and their unforgiving landlord made it clear that there were other families waiting to take their place. Kelli paid their rent for them just in time.
Kelli took this picture whilst visiting Noor to give her this painting as a gift for her birthday. It was painted by Kelli’s friend and symbolizes hope.
Since arriving in Turkey, Noor and her family have attempted the boat crossing to Europe three times. The first time was back in January, in the middle of winter. The inexperienced driver of the boat (this task comes down to a refugee themselves as the smugglers know the crossing is too risky for them to join) hit rocks and the boat sank. Noor lost her passport, her medical reports, all her clothes and everything else she had left.. Unable to walk and wearing only a flimsy life jacket, she genuinely thought she was going to die.
But she survived. Her determination stronger than ever…
But Noor’s family need help. The System in Turkey is totally overstretched and access to any formal help is non existent.
They didn’t chose this life.
They don’t deserve this.
Noor repeatedly tells Kelli that she WILL walk again and WILL finish that degree. Kelli tells us that Noor’s resilience and spirit bring her to tears every single time and that she is one of the most, if not THE most, inspiring young person she has ever met.
Noor speaks perfect English and has a desire to speak many other languages. Regardless of her condition she is desperate to continue to learn and grow and takes everything on board very quickly. She’s clever, funny and desperate for her life to change.
Unfortunately it is expected that her operation will cost thousands of dollars. In Syria, doctors told Noor they could not operate there and now she has lost her medical records and letters in the failed boat crossings, she worries about being treated anywhere else…
We want to help Noor and we need your help to do it!!!
We need the following:
A university that could sponsor long distance learning / tuition
An electronic tablet so Noor can continue to learn and read
If you are / have any of the above, leave a comment below and Kelli will get back to you to coordinate getting them to Noor.
Noor has a chance to walk again. She wants to finish her degree. We can’t sit back and let that pass her by.
Please share Noor’s story and help us raise the money to support her: