Days in these mine-infested fields begin like any other, whether they will irreversibly alter someone’s life or not.
Asfandiar and Jzheyn’s tale is a difficult one. But it’s also a love story.
And when could possibly be more appropriate than today to tell you about it?
They met in 1997 at our Rehabilitation and Social Reintegration Centre in Sulaymaniyah, Iraq.
Asfandiar was in the mountains gathering wood with some friends when he stepped on a landmine. That incident cost him an eye, a forearm, and his right leg. We welcomed him to our Centre and built his prosthesis. Our rehabilitation programme helped him walk again and take back control of his life. A life that many disabled patients are afraid they may never be able to fully live again.
“My wife Jzheyn is also disabled, due to polio”, Asfandiar tells us. “We first met here. We were both patients. Today, we have two daughters: Arina, 9, and Ainder, 4.”
Today, 20 years on from that first meeting, Asfandiar comes to see us often. We have a special relationship with him: he is a long-time patient and, above all, a friend. One day, he invited us into his home – he wanted us to see his daily life with Jzheyn and their daughters, to show us how they were growing up. That was the moment we realised that EMERGENCY had truly become a part of his family. And he, together with Jzheyn, became part of our family a long time ago.
The EMERGENCY Rehabilitation and Social Reintegration Centre in Sulaymaniyah, Iraq, is financed by ‘European Civil Protection & Humanitarian Aid Operations (ECHO)’