Conflicts & War

Man who lost leg in Syria conflict now helping others walk again

By Noemi Jabois

Beirut, Oct 26 (efe-epa).- Almost a decade after he lost his leg and his dream of being a soccer player, Abdel Mawla has not only learned to walk again with an artificial leg, but also has become a prosthetics specialist to help other amputees from the Syrian civil war.

Back in 2012, Abdel Mawla was a just teenager, looking forward to returning to his hometown of Mount Zawiya in the province of Idlib from Damascus, where his family had fled to at the start of the conflict a year before.

Crammed into a vehicle with 15 other relatives and neighbors, Abdel Mawla’s joy of returning home soon turned into harrowing fear when they were suddenly attacked by a barrage of gunfire near the city of al-Rastan.

“At first we were very scared, but later we left things to God,” the 24-year-old tells Efe.

“I could only press down the wound with my hand to stop the bleeding and tie my brother’s leg.”

After a tough journey during which he was moved from hospital to hospital, Abdel Mawla and his brother, the only ones injured in the attack, went to receive medical care in Ankara, Turkey, where, three months later, his leg was amputated due to infections and complications from the gunshot wound.


Today, eight years on, Abdel Mawla works at a center in northern Idlib installing prosthetics for people with missing limbs in an attempt to make them feel “strong and confident again.”

In his sky blue uniform and his prosthetic leg, the young Syrian accompanies patients of all ages every step of the way, from the choice of the prosthesis, to its adaptation, to its application.

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