Video footage of an eight year-old Syrian refugee in Idlib using metal cans in place of prosthetic legs has drawn attention to the plight of displaced people in Syria.
Maya Mohammad Al-Mar’i has been forced to use empty tin cans to help her walk after her father could not afford prosthetic limbs. The family were forced to flee from Aleppo after the bombardment of the city by the Syrian regime. Maya’s father was also born without his lower limbs, making it hard to find work in the refugee camps in rural Idlib.
Local activists and humanitarian workers who raised awareness of Maya’s story have since launched a social media call to raise funds to provide medical prosthetics and help the family.
Activists said the situation of the Al-Mar’i was similar to thousands of other Syrians internally displaced, who suffer from abject poverty in rural camps, as well as the trauma of war.
UNICEF revealed in March that more than 1.5 million Syrians have been left permanently disabled by injuries received as a result of the conflict, including at least 86,000 people who have lost limbs. The vast majorities of injuries have been perpetrated by the Syrian regime, which regularly heavily bombards residential areas, hospitals and schools, held by the opposition.
The conflict in Syria, now entering its eighth year, has displaced over half the pre-war population; 6.1 million people are internally displaced, over five million are refugees in neighbouring countries, and over one million have fled to Europe.