Story of Syrians - Osman family

The Osman family come from Aleppo and are of Kurdish origin. They fled to the countryside fearing Arab militants. The children couldn't go to school there and the parents couldn't manage to provide for the family, due to the loss of income. They fled from Syria to Turkey with their children, some of whom have medical problems.

Istanbul, November 2014

Ali, Fahima and their four children have been in Turkey since July 2013. In Syria Ali had been working as an assistant engineer for 23 years. Currently he uses his skills in a Turkish company: renovating, plumbing and flooring are his daily tasks in Istanbul. "Luckily I have a permanent job, but sometimes I work 15 hours a day... Actually I'm working for two because my wife isn't able to work at the moment. She used to work in a clothes packing factory but, for health reasons she is no longer able to stand up all day."

As they wait for their transfer to Belgium Fahima continues running the household and has her hands full with their children's health problems. The oldest (aged 15) has had rheumatism ever since he was born, but his treatment stopped due to lack of money. The youngest suffers from asthma. 

© Fedasil

The children don't go to school and try and keep themselves busy as best they can. The youngest daughter likes cooking and helps with making the meals. The oldest likes playing music and would like to learn how to play the violin; she is also particularly interested in learning new languages. The second daughter is just like her father - she loves drawing and calligraphy. At school the three girls have learnt to write Arabic, but they also know the English alphabet and can say a few words. As a family the Osmans speak a mix of Arabic and Kurdish. 

Just like the other families the Osmans are waiting impatiently for their transfer to Belgium: there they will be reunited with Fahima's sister who already lives in Belgium with her husband, in the Liège area. The parents will be greatly relieved once the children can go back to school and their health problems can be treated.