One of the most cheerful children we met was Ammar, a nine-year old boy who was all smiles, had a cheerful voice and eyes that twinkled as he spoke.
Little boy, Ammar was only six years old when he lost his limbs in a bomb strike. On the fateful day of attack, Ammar, his sister and some neighbourhood friends were playing outside Ammar’s house in Dara’a when a bomb dropped in front of his home, killing his friends and sisters. Rescuers rushed the critically injured boy to the borders of Jordan and tried to stabilize the dying child. Together with his detached right hand and foot, Ammar gained entrance to a Jordanian hospital. Doctors could not save Ammar’s hand and foot.
During our interview, Ammar took off his prosthetic leg revealing the effects of war while the father explained Ammar’s health conditions. Despite losing his limbs, Ammar was surprisingly positive and high-spirited as he talked about school and life in Jordan.
The team was told that in the middle of Ammar’s two-year depression, Ammar lost his mother to cancer putting him into deeper sadness but, Ammar’s father kept by Ammar’s side, not allowing the spirit of his son to die. Ammar’s father, showed a picture of Ammar on the floor with his amputated leg. Ammar had drawn an imaginary leg on the floor.
“This is dark…this is dark…” Dr Hariz kept repeating while choking on his words.
I looked at the picture, smiled and in a cheerful, assuring voice, I answered, “This is good Hariz”. In my head, what I saw in the picture was ‘hope’.
“No Kak Marina…he misses his leg” then, Hariz paused, “This is dark” tears were welling up in Dr. Hariz’s eyes.
I instructed Dr. Hariz (KHOM’s Public Relations Officer and official translator) to ask Ammar’s father for confirmation on the situation Ammar was in at the time the picture was taken and the father answered, “This is Ammar’s recovery during his days of hope” then he smiled.
I felt a wave of relief knowing that it was truly a picture of ‘Hope’ because to me, my team had to learn and understand about what ‘hope’ really meant, especially for people who had lost their physical abilities. This was a priceless moment, to be with little Ammar who was only nine years old but had lost his right hand and leg at the age of six. How and what could we learn from this young boy and his father?
Ammar gave a lesson of ‘Life is not over as long as we are alive’. He showed the positive side of just to be grateful with the important things in life and that is to have ‘life’ and his family. Personally, if we were to lose our limbs, it would be like losing everything. To us, a normal person, we would have lost our souls but this amazing boy showed the exact opposite. The war had taken away his hand and leg but it could not, and certainly did not take away his spirit.