Mother seeks to reunite family riven by war

Amira Gharmoush sits with her grandchildren inside a tent in Herjelleh shelter in Damascus countryside, Syria.- Reuters
Amira Gharmoush sits with her grandchildren inside a tent in Herjelleh shelter in Damascus countryside, Syria.- Reuters

Damascus - She fled eastern Ghouta four years ago.



By Reuters

Published: Sat 31 Mar 2018, 9:00 PM

Last updated: Sat 31 Mar 2018, 11:55 PM

Amira Gharmoush's family has been a victim of both sides of the war for the eastern Ghouta region near Damascus. The 67-year-old Syrian mother of nine is now hoping to piece back together what's left of it.
She fled eastern Ghouta four years ago when, she said, one of her three daughters was killed by insurgents in the area, the last major rebel stronghold near Damascus until the Syrian government launched a ferocious campaign to recapture it.
Two her six sons accompanied her on her journey out of eastern Ghouta at the time. They were detained by the Syrian government and she has not heard from them since. The other four sons stayed inside eastern Ghouta, separated from their mother by the frontlines of a war that has broken up countless families and killed hundreds of thousands of people over the last seven years.
As the frontlines shifted in recent weeks, Gharmoush was reunited with two more of her sons. They fled eastern Ghouta two weeks ago as the government offensive pushed closer to their homes, uprooting them and many thousands more. The assault has underlined President Bashar Al Assad's unassailable position in the war.
Gharmoush spoke at a Syrian government supervised shelter for displaced people, where she was visiting the sons who left Ghouta recently. She expressed hope that she would soon see the two sons who remain in the area.  Both are in Douma, the last town under rebel control. "It's been four years since I've seen them," she said, her eyes full of tears.
"My hope is that my sons who are in Ghouta get out, and that the ones who are detainees get out, and to bring my children together so we all live together," said Gharmoush. Gharmoush sat next to her seven-year-old granddaughter - the child of the daughter who was killed four years ago, who she has cared for ever since. She says her daughter was killed for delivering bread to government troops stationed at a checkpoint near their village, Otaya.
Syria war breaks up countless families
> Gharmoush, mother of nine, fled eastern Ghouta four years ago when one of her three daughters was killed by insurgents.
> Two of her six sons went with her out of Ghouta.
> Later, they were detained and she has not heard from them since.
> The other four sons stayed in Ghouta.
> She was reunited with two more of her sons.
> Gharmoush hopes to see the two sons who remain in the area.


More news from WORLD