In 10 years of war, the elderly lost Syrian Abdul Razzaq, 13 sons and a wife, to find himself in his eighty-year-old, responsible for a large family, including 11 orphaned grandchildren, and despite the terrible loss, the title “father of the martyrs” is what he considers the most, and the most that he wishes to achieve justice.
A difficult life for “the father of the martyrs”
After multiple displacement trips that led him from his hometown in Hama Governorate (central Syria) to Idlib (northwest), Abdul Razzaq Muhammad Khatun (83 years old) settles with a family of 30 members, in four tents he built on agricultural land he rented among olive trees in the town Harbnoush, near Maarat Misrin, in the northern countryside of Idlib.
“Abu al-Shuhada” (also known as Abu Muhammad) is lying on the ground inside a tent, while his grandchildren sit around him with their books and behind them a blue hanging bag bearing the logo of the United Nations Children’s Fund. Today? Did you memorize the lesson? They answer in one voice, “We saved it.”
The man, who wore a cloak and put a traditional keffiyeh on his head, lived with three wives and 27 children, the oldest of whom was 38 years old and the youngest eight years old, but 10 years of war in which he attackedThe lion system His opponents, his life turned upside down.
Abu al-Shuhada said with sorrow, in a statement to Agence France-Presse: “Since the beginning of the revolution, seven martyrs have been presented, who fought with the Free Army against the regime,” adding: “After that, airplanes bombed Akef in Saraqib, and I lost seven others, my wife and children.” Some of them are children.
In vain, the man tries to remember the dates his children were killed during the battles, but his memory is burdened with worries and grievances that make this a difficult task.
Likewise, the man who invaded his graying chin and dug deep wrinkles in his face could not hold back his tears, when viewed on a smartphone, video clips showing members of the Civil Defense, active in the opposition factions’ control areas, as they were working to transport the victims and injured from his family following the raid.
“Young men like flowers”
Abu Muhammad says, “Separation is difficult … in one moment I lost everyone. I felt that my back was broken,” but “God helped me to have patience and courage.”
Despite the size of the loss and the responsibilities that it has arranged, Abu Muhammed asserts that he never felt remorse, and from time to time spewed out his cigarette smoke loudly, then he proudly says, “It is true that the loss of children is great, but the land needs sacrifice and I raise my head with them. I lost young people like roses.”
The elderly man insists that even if he is in a tent, but he is demanding the right of his children and the achievement of justice, adding: “I will teach their children that truth and a decent life need sacrifice and do not accept injustice, and that the generous sacrifice his soul as a sacrifice for freedom and dignity.”
Abu Muhammad addressed the Arab countries and the world and said: “We want justice .. 10 years have passed, and all countries must stand today with Syria and support it.”
Abu Muhammad’s speech coincides with the tenth anniversary of the revolution in Syria against Assad, which the regime responded to, triggering violent confrontations that left tremendous destruction and a death toll of more than 387,000, not to mention the displacement and displacement of millions inside and outside Syria.
Despite the difficult conditions in which Abu Muhammad lives, Abu Muhammad recounts, all he wants is to continue providing for his family and educating the children, after a number of his other children have sought refuge in neighboring countries and are barely able to support themselves.
“I dream that my grandchildren live in dignity, that they have a house instead of a tent and a car to travel in, and that they live a happy life and remember their fathers’ stories of sacrifice in defense of the land, “he says with emotion, which overwhelms his exhausted face.
He also talked about the daily suffering to secure sustenance as he got older, and he says: “One day we get hungry and we get full one day, few people help us sometimes.”
A few meters away from him, the widow of one of his sons, Batool Khattab, talks about a difficult life, and she told the French agency: “We were very tormented. The bitterness of displacement and the martyrdom of my husband made our life more difficult.” My uncle works hard to provide us with a decent life. “
Abu Muhammad does not stop repeating the phrase “I will not deprive them of anything as long as I am alive,” insisting that “the blood of my children was not wasted because they defended the land.”