I can’t even explain to you guys how beautiful Noor is.
Her eyelashes are so long they reach her eyebrows and she has the most amazing smile that she flashes after most of the things she says, often accompanied by a little giggle.
She’s my age and the moment I met her I felt like I wanted her to be my friend. You know when you have that with people, when you are just drawn to them, you admire them, I have that with her…
Noor can’t walk. A few years ago she was waiting for some friends after finishing an exam at her University in Damascus. She was a 4th and final year Law Student and her four friends were coming from their biology exam. As they approached her, a bomb hit their university and she watched as their four bodies were thrown into the air. She fainted from the shock. When she woke up in hospital, her four friends were dead and she has not walked since.
Noor had everything. Brains and beauty, her whole life ahead of her. But life since then has been progressively hard.
She decided to leave Syria with her mother and brother to try and seek treatment. They were forced to leave behind her sick father as he would not have survived the journey after suffering a heart attack as a result of the war and it’s affects on his family and his life. Noor’s brother and mother took it in turns to carry her on their backs. Her wheelchair would have been too noisy as the made the grueling journey to Turkey.
As we sat on the seafront of Izmir with Noor last night with a group of volunteers, chatting and laughing, one of the group of Turkish guy’s sitting behind us stood up and started shouting at us.
“Go back to your own country,” he directed his words to the Syrian’s amongst us. “I’m from Turkey, I’m not leaving.” It seemed ironic he didn’t say anything to the huge group of volunteers of mixed nationalities, many of whom were not in their ‘own country’.
Obviously he was sharing his hatred to the wrong crowd and he soon left, but my blood was boiling, my head racing with all the things I wanted to shout back at him. Noor, sat on the grass in front of her donated, broken wheelchair, remained smiling her beautiful, cheeky grin.
“Maybe one day he should experience what we experienced,” she simply said. “Only then will he know.”
This was not the only example of her incredible strength of character. “More important that anything to me, than where I go, which country I end up in, is my body.” She told me. “My body gives me pain, my body is unhappy, but even if every doctor in the world tells me I will never walk again, I know that one day I will.”
I have no doubt about this in my mind either.
Please help us reverse the effects of war on Noor’s body and give her tired mother and brother, her sick father and Noor herself, some hope for the future.
She believes she will walk again.
I believe it too.
Between us we can make this a reality.
Miracles do happen
We’re fundraising for the operation that Noor needs here: